Sandwell African Women's Association
Sandwell African Women’s Association was awarded £1,000 to run a “Befriending Coffee Club”, delivering classes on the use of Internet for the 50+ refugee women and asylum seekers from French speaking countries, living in Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in West Midlands.
In total 27 refugee women were matched with a professional qualified IT Teacher during the 12 months of the project. Evaluation has shown that the project has been extremely effective in increasing women learners’ skills and confidence in using ICT:
• The majority of beneficiaries felt that they had improved their ICT skills and in particular, their ability to use email and the internet for accessing web-based information and services like the Universal Credits
• Almost all the women beneficiaries felt more confident in using a computer for their first time, using the internet and communicating via email.
• More than three-quarters of the learners interviewed said that they now: Use a computer more frequently than they did before attending the project, use their computer to look for information on the internet and to communicate with others.
As a result, the evaluation has found that Sandwell African Women Association [SAWA] has been successful in increasing matured refugee women’s digital inclusion and contributed to reducing their social isolation:
• Almost three-quarters of the beneficiaries interviewed felt they were now able to keep in touch with their family and friends
• About half said that being able to use a computer and access the internet made them feel more independent
• Nearly half were using the internet to become more involved in local events and activities
• About a third were using it to get in touch with or get information about local services
Community Development Association for Minority Communities LTD
The charity was awarded £900 towards intervention education classes for children with learning difficulty aged 5–11. The charity supports 17 children who have severe autism, severe learning difficulties, and challenging behaviour.
The grant was used to purchase four laptops to be used in literacy and maths sessions.
During literacy sessions the children used the laptops to learn to read and write letters, CVC words and simple sentences. Children had the opportunities to play different phonic games and reading activities.
In the maths sessions, the children played different games and maths activities: basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, shapes, fractions, money, measurement, etc. The maths games gave the children a fun way to practice maths skills, learn and enjoy a range of fun maths activities that have improved their number skills. The interactive activities allowed children to operate at different levels of thinking and to learn from each other.
The project raised children education English and maths levels and reading levels. Improved reading fluency and comprehension skills. Reduced isolation, increase socialising and inclusion. Increased motivation, self-esteem and self-confidence. Increased communication and skills. Improved ICT skills. More independent learning and less distraction. Increased enthusiastic about learning.
Waltham Forest Dyslexia Association
The grant contributed towards Dyslexia after school support classes in literacy, numeracy, touch typing, handwriting and study skills for children and young people (C&YP) from low income disadvantaged families from the London Borough of Waltham Forest and surrounding boroughs. Students are aged between 7 – 16 and attend small classes of 1 – 3 students for 50 minute weekly sessions.
A positive commitment to the classes shown by the high attendance records and good timekeeping is an indication of a more positive attitude developed by an improved self belief and confidence in their abilities. In the numeracy class 60% of the students stated that they felt more confident, 44% in literacy, 67% in handwriting and 44% in touch typing.
In numeracy 50% of the parents stated that there was a significant improvement in performance of their child. Whereas in literacy it was 52% and 50% in handwriting.
Parents have left positive feedback:
‘With revision he can now read over his class work without getting confused about what is was he was actually trying to say’.
‘The course has raised X’s awareness of the ingredients that contribute to good handwriting’.
‘X’s reading skills have improved from a Reading Age in September 2014 of 8 yrs 6 months, to 9 years 4 months in April 2015 (a gain of 10 months after attending just over 15 hours tuition). In addition, her writing skills have improved; she now checks her work very carefully’.
‘X has enjoyed the sessions and comes to each lesson with enthusiasm’.
‘I think the WFDA do an amazing job, all staff and tutors are very good at what they do. X is very happy and never complains about going and has made a great amount of progress from coming. He seems to be more accepting of his dyslexia and is coping better since he first started’.
Howbury Tumblers were awarded a grant for their Clever Little Makers & Bakers Project, providing arts & crafts resources and cooking ingredients help provide better activities & experiences & enhancing children’s learning and development and promote a healthier lifestyle.
Children’s learning and development had been positively impacted through the provision of the grant – many advancements has been observed in children’s understanding of the world, their language and communication skills, ability to share, enhanced concentration skills, social skills, fine motor skills and hand to eye coordination, their choices and having a voice to express those choices, and valuing themselves in being heard. How they relate and respect others. All these aspects will help them in their future education and well being, and positively impact on their future potential. Feedback from Parents and Carers feedback was positive – from a total of 26 respondents : 26 thought that we have provided a diverse range of arts & crafts this year, and that they were of high quality, both the materials provided and the actual activity. 25 said their children had experienced both cooking and creative activities , and these were a good standard, and 6 said they children had enjoyed the sensory experiences provided through this grant. 26 of 26 said that specifically their child’s learning and development has been promoted through this grant in terms of language & communication, social skills, small motor skills, and knowledge and understanding of the world. All 26 felt they had been involved in their child’s learning through the delivery of the grant.
Oasis Community Centre and Gardens
Funding was awarded to support the Flowers for Life therapeutic gardening project. Sessional workers looked after small groups of young adults with mental health issues and special needs to learn gardening skills and floristry skills. Funding also paid for seeds, bulbs, plants, pots, tools and gardening equipment.
The project not only attracted further interest but the charity was invited to have an 8 minute slot on BBC Gardener’s World for this project and the difference a Community Gardening project makes to a community and to the individuals accessing the problems. Beneficiaries were unemployed, young people with disabilities, special needs, mental health needs and Special needs.
The main aim of the project was mainly therapeutic – to have a project where young people with many mental health issues and disabilities can find a place to belong, a group to feel part of and a place to come to work and volunteer. For any who are capable of gaining employment and/or longer term volunteering roles these were supported by the charity to achieve this.
Headway Tyneside provides information and support to people with a brain injury, their families and carers. They were awarded a grant to deliver fatigue/sleep management workshops for people with a brain injury from the Gateshead/South Tyneside area to promote mental/physical health and well-being.
The workshop provided strategies to be able to recognise the presence and importance of sleep disturbances and provide them with some initial strategies to manage sleeping problems more effectively.
They also raised awareness of sleep/sleep fatigue problems following brain injury and provided brain injury survivors and their families with a range of skills to enable them to manage their sleep health.