Our charity partners have re-imagined what they do to support vulnerable groups and individuals in 2020. Here we highlight just some of the creative solutions from our charity partners this year.

AT The Bus in a BOX

This new mobile service enabled At The Bus to offer a flexible school-based programme of art as therapy to schools in London and Oxfordshire. Compact, wheeled boxes containing story books, art supplies and other resources equipped highly trained facilitators to run workshops in any appropriate and safe space within a school. AT The Bus in a BOX can be delivered flexibly and with short notice to schools in need.
AT The Bus in a BOX broadens the reach of The Beattie Method, a holistic approach to building resilience, nurturing self-esteem, wellbeing, learning capacity and critical thinking in a supportive creative environment. Facilitators help students feel secure and valued; find enjoyment and interest in the world around them; build positive and trusting relationships; and take pride in their own unique creations.
AT The Bus In a BOX

Access Sport’s Winter Warriors battle inactivity

Winter Warriors is an initiative from Access Sport to donate inclusive multisport equipment and activity booklets to families, with a focus on reaching disabled children and their families. It was designed to support families to remain active during the winter months, whilst community clubs may be closed for the holidays or shut due to COVID-19. The booklets encourage individual and whole family activity, as well as fun wellbeing ideas like baking, quizzes and outdoor scavenger hunts to ensure families have a range of activities to do to support their physical and mental wellbeing.

Families join the Winter Warriors Facebook group to share their experiences and photos and every disabled child and young person who is a part of the Winter Warriors receives a t-shirt to wear proudly! So far, over 500 orders have been received from families across London, Bristol, Manchester and Oxford with the aim to reach 750 families by the end of the year.

Bounce Back – No Going Back

Bounce Back has partnered with the London Livery Companies to launch No Going Back, with the aim of specifically preparing individuals in prison for job opportunities that will be offered by Livery Company members, or organisations connected to Livery members. Jobs are primarily in ‘the Built Environment’, a broad remit encompassing a wide variety of opportunities from HGV driving, construction and facilities management to site supervision, administration and engineering, giving as many people as possible an opportunity to participate. Importantly the project is aimed at meeting the skills needs of employers.

Whilst activity in prisons has been severely restricted due to Covid-19, No Going Back focuses on providing support on release with training, upskilling and employability to ensure the passage into employment is as seamless as possible for individuals and employers.

Clean Break and Write to Connect

In early May, Clean Break partnered with the community organisation It’s Not Your Birthday But… to launch Write 2 Connect, a letter writing project connecting women through the prison walls with women in the community.

There are 3,424 women in prison in the UK (at 24 April 2020), many of whom are locked in their cells for 23 hrs a day and whose visits, which can be a vital lifeline, have been suspended to stem the spread of the virus. For two weeks in May, women from all walks of life sent letters with words of inspiration, hope and solidarity to women in prison. The letters shared something personal and offered hope–a gift which everyone can afford, and which can remind us in difficult moments that we are connected, we are part of a wider community and we are valued.

Over 200 letters were delivered to HMP Downview, with the women in HMP Downview then writing their own letters in response which were passed on to women accessing services at women’s centres.

ALAPAR introduces online activities

ALAPAR helps people with learning disabilities by promoting inclusive sport through its inclusive mountain bike school (MBT). While the school had to close in March and April this year, online activities were introduced to ensure ongoing support and connection with participants. Once the school was able to open, activities continued throughout the year, such as inclusive sessions for athletes with and without learning difficulties and MBT countryside routes on weekends.
ALAPAR also provides housing and support for people with learning difficulties between 18 -65 years old, to enable them to live independently. Covid-19 has had a financial impact on this work due to new safety requirements for communal living as well as impacting service users, most of whom were furloughed. Special Covid-19 relief funding, including an additional donation from Columbia Threadneedle Foundation, helped 70 users of the service from March until July.
A group of cyclists in pink clothes