At Spirit of 2012, we’re absolutely committed to funding projects that bring people together. With that in mind, here are just ten of the (many) ways we are helping tackle the loneliness and isolation felt by an increasing number of people across the UK.
1) Keeping older people in touch…
GoodMorningNewtownabbey is a project that supports the most vulnerable population within the community – especially during the winter period. The service engages with people over-65 with limited mobility and illness, providing a better quality of life and making the everyday that bit easier. The service includes a pre-arranged daily telephone call and an alert service should the calls not be answered.
2) Bringing communities together…
We’re working with Voluntary Arts to support hundreds of community arts initiatives across the UK, involving everything from bassoons to baking, to help them become more professional and self-sustaining, ensuring everyone has a chance to get out and get creative in their local community.
3) Tackling isolation through memories of sport…
Spirit funds Sporting Memories: Uniting Generations - a project designed to capture memories of Olympic and Paralympic Games gone by and to tackle social isolation amongst older people. Recalling great moments of sport can prove beneficial in promoting cognitive functioning, triggering long held memories and providing social activities that can play their part in tackling social isolation and loneliness. Sporting Memories Network uses archive images of sporting heroes, old sports grounds and teams to help trigger memories of older sports fans attending volunteer-led, community based, weekly groups.
4) Helping older people show the young’uns a thing or two…
As part of our Fourteen project, Spirit fund community tea dances in Creggan, Northern Ireland. Residents of all ages come together in a safe and controlled environment to participate in a ballroom style event. Throughout the dance, young and old people from the community have the opportunity to socialise. The aim is to help break down barriers, reduce the feeling of isolation and loneliness experienced by the older generations and to establish respect, understanding and build friendships.
5) Helping communities to get out and get active…
Early in 2016, Spirit will formally be announcing a huge investment of £4.5million in a three year physical activity initiative. The focus is on increasing people's participation in fun and inclusive opportunities, so that disabled and non-disabled people, their families and friends, can enjoy recreational physical activity together.
6) Giving young disabled filmmakers a chance to get together and shine…
Spirit is delighted to be the funder of Viewfinder in Tyneside - a talent development initiative that supports filmmakers with disabilities, autism and additional needs to come together and take their skills and aspirations to the next level. It is run by the award-winning Beacon Hill Arts group.
7) Getting whole communities participating…
Fourteen communities were selected earlier this year to receive funding to increase community participation and improve wellbeing as part of the XX Commonwealth Games legacy. This has become Spirit’s Fourteen programme. It is community-led and each community decides themselves how they want to increase participation. Together, with our delivery partners, led by the UK Community Foundation and Springboard, we are helping create a legacy of improved wellbeing and happiness.
8) Helping people find their voice…
In 2015, Spirit was one the funders of Big Big Sing – a project that inspired hundreds of thousands of people the length and breadth of the UK to unite in celebration of singing. In its first year alone, Big Big Sing attracted 62,840 people to get out, get together and sing at 173 live events across the country, with special Big Sing Days held from Shetland to Devon.
9) Calling all theatrical types…
ARC Stockton’s Cultural Shift programme, funded by Spirit, is doing just that - creating an inclusive theatre company (Full Circle) who are already making plays of their own. They’re helping people to forget about stage fright and join their local theatre group. For those who struggle to channel their inner Benedict Cumberbatch, there are plenty of ways to get involved, from costume or lighting through to writing and direction.
10) Helping young people to come together and try new sports…
As part of Fourteen, Young Asian Voices were recently awarded funding to develop a sports academy, which will offer opportunities for children and young people in Sunderland to try new sports, gain coaching qualifications, and set up several new teams to sustain activity. Two youth workers and a qualified sports coach will run weekly supervised community sports sessions.
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