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  1. Little Green Pig is a creative writing and mentoring charity which focuses on engaging 7-18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds on a programme of free projects.

    In Spring 2017 they received funding from East Brighton Trust to support a creative writing project for children from Moulsecoomb Primary School. They held two workshops which took place in November and December at the Moulsecoomb Forest Garden, an important and inspiring outdoor space which is led by adults with learning difficulties.

    Little Green Pig say of their work “We believe that everyone, whatever their background, has a right to write and needs a gym for their imagination. Our main objective is to give opportunities to the young people in the community who need them most including those from disadvantaged backgrounds or living in areas of high deprivation.”

    Over the last year, Little Green Pig has worked with over 800 children and teenagers on projects ranging from devising a crime drama to writing a travel guide to Brighton and Hove. They work hard to develop relationships with schools, families, organisations and individuals in their target areas and currently have over 50 trained volunteers who support their workshops.

    During the two 2-hour workshops at the Forest Garden, 26 Year 4 pupils from Moulsecoomb Primary School had a chance to explore their environment and create original poetry inspired by the Garden. The aim was to encourage teamwork, free expression and creativity whilst helping to improve the children’s confidence and self-esteem.

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    Each workshop was supported by four fully-trained Little Green Pig Story Mentors (volunteers), in addition to the class teacher and teaching assistant, and was led by experienced workshop leader Adam Webb.

    Workshop One involved engaging with different activities including games, free-writing and garden exploration to inspire and generate ideas for their final poem. Then during the second workshop participants consolidated their original work, learned about motifs in fiction/ poetry and then used garden motifs to create original poetry. All 26 children shared their work with the group.

    Little Green Pig told us “This type of work empowers participants, giving them a voice and encouraging them to try new things. It also fosters a sense of community in the group as they share their creative work in a very positive way and offer generous feedback to one another. Being in the garden encouraged participants to pause and absorb their environment, and encouraged them to think about creative writing as a response to sensory experiences. The children were encouraged by our volunteers to develop their interest in it without the pressures that they may face in the classroom if writing is normally a challenge for them.”

    The group are hoping to display or project the poetry in Moulsecoomb Primary School which will allow it to reach new audiences and enable the whole school community to benefit from the project.

    Little Green Pig will continue to take their writing projects into a variety of spaces across the city and beyond and we look forward to hearing about their progress.

    Find out more about the workshops on the Little Green Pig website and follow them on facebook and twitter to keep up to date.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  2. Raw Youth Club (1024x682)

    In our Spring/ Summer 2017 small grants round, East Brighton Trust awarded £500 to RAW, a weekly youth club for young people living in Moulsecoomb. The club is held at St George’s Hall in North Moulsecoomb and gives young people a safe place to socialise on a regular basis.

    The funding went towards refreshments for the weekly meetings and to pay for two special outings which the young people would otherwise not be able to afford - one in the summer to ‘Go Ape’ and one in the winter to The Royal Pavilion Ice Skating Rink. In their feedback to us, the organisers of the RAW youth club said “Both of these events were highlights in the Youth Club Calendar, which the youth looked very much forward to and appreciated. We have learned that social cohesion and a range of experiences are key in maintaining healthy relationships between youth. The youth appreciate having regular consistency of a meeting place and caring leaders who are committed to their welfare and development”.

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  3. Oromo - Thorpe Park trip (616x423)

    The Brighton & Hove Oromo Community is a small group of Oromo refugees, originally from Ethiopia, many of whom now live in East Brighton.

    They were awarded a £500 small grant from East Brighton Trust in January 2017 to run a health project for the women in the community. The funding went towards 3 elements: 10 swimming classes, 10 Shape-Up classes (beginner level aerobics) & a day trip to Thorpe Park.

    The community got in touch to tell us about how they spent the funding: “Because of the swimming and shape-up sessions, 16 adult and young women feel happier, less alone, less stuck at home, and spent more time with friends and family, and some also experienced physical improvement from doing some healthy activities.

    "Having women-only swimming and exercise classes was really important for us because it gave us a chance to meet in a space where we can be together, just the Oromo women, and socialise, bond with our daughters, as well as do something healthy. We don’t have many opportunities to go out, and cannot afford leisure activities so these regular activities are really important for us.”

    And talking about their trip to Thorpe Park: “A total of 45 Oromo people (including 15 women and 20 children) were able to enjoy a day out for the first time in a year.

    "Our trip to Thorpe Park was the only holiday that our members were able to have in the year. As a result of the trip, 15 women and 20 children felt happier, felt closer to their families and community, and felt less isolated. It was amazing for us, particularly women and children, to have the opportunity to have a little day trip, and have some fun and spend some time together outside of our usual routines, and to simply get out and get a change of scenery.

    "The women in our community don’t have many opportunities for leisure activities, because we are the main carers of our children but also because we can’t afford it. We just don’t get to have holidays and go away like some other people can. We were able to have a break, and relax, and to get out, and see something different outside of Brighton. It also really helped to improve our family relationships to have time together in a fun and relaxed environment.

    "We are very happy that East Brighton Trust gave us some funding. We would not be able to run some of our activities for our community without this funding.”

  4. The Good News Centre in Moulsecoomb applied for a grant from East Brighton Trust in January 2017 to pay for electrical work to enable their Men in Sheds project to take place. The Good News Shed is a community space for men to connect, chat and make things together. The activities undertaken are similar to those which typically take place in garden sheds and the communal setting helps reduce loneliness and isolation as well as being fun.

    Men in sheds 3 - Good News Shed (681x1024)

    The money went towards paying an electrician to put in extra power points for power tools and to purchase a Silverstone 750W dust extractor. The power tools used in the woodwork of Good News Shed create a lot of sawdust, which it was necessary to extract. The extraction of the sawdust means that the working area now remains relatively dust free, which not only allows for a cleaner work space, but also promotes the health and wellbeing of those using the building.  

    The sheds project provides huge benefits to participants, enabling them to improve their confidence, feel part of a community and to feel empowered by sharing skills with others.

    Project Organiser Neil Hilton told us “Many of the people who attend the Good News Shed are elderly, and have experienced loneliness and isolation. Attending this project twice a week has become a highlight for them. They have learnt new skills, or awakened dormant skills, they feel a sense of personal achievement, and a sense of community with their fellow attendees.”

    The local community has also benefited from the work of the men in the Good News Shed. They have been involved in the following projects:

    * repairing local park benches that have been vandalised

    * making a shed for the local adult learning centre's garden project

    * making access ramps for individuals in the community

    * making flower pots for a sensory garden for members of a dementia group at the Bevy community pub

    Men in sheds 4 - Good News Shed (681x1024) Men in sheds 2 - Good News Shed (682x1024)

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    Men in sheds - Flower boxes for the Bevy Dementia Group sensory garden (102

     

  5. Thank you to everyone who applied for a small grant in our January funding round in partnership with the Sussex Community Foundation. 

    We are very happy to have awarded grants to the following groups and look forward to sharing their news with you as and when we hear from them:

    • 55th Brighton Scout Group
    • Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
    • Brighton Pebbles
    • Bristol Estate Community Association CIC
    • Broadfields Tenants Association
    • Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove
    • East Brighton Bygones Local History Society
    • Good News Brighton
    • Kemp Town Gardening and Community Group
    • Oromo Community in Brighton and Hove
    • Safety Net
    • Sew Fabulous CIC
    • St.Andrew's Fellowship
    • St George's Hall
    • Trust for Developing Communities
    • Wellspring Community Brighton
  6. Safety net is an organisation working to keep children and young people safe from harm and abuse. They work with children, families, schools and neighbourhoods, delivering programmes of training, advice and guidance for adults and young people. In early 2017 they approached us via our small grants scheme for funding for a particular programme of resilience training for targeted pupils. These were all young people living in Whitehawk and attending Longhill school.

    The training affected 46 pupils and covered 3 specific areas:

    1)    1: 1 resilience support for vulnerable children aged 11 – 15 via the Safety Net Assertiveness programme (SNAP).

    2)    Small group workshops covering online safety, friendships, personal safety & body image.

    3)    Parents’ resource pack on online safety including a top tip sheet.

    Other related activities included year 7 pupils working with Safety Net to write and deliver an assembly to both City Academy Whitehawk and Saltdean Primary school – two of the feeder schools for Longhill. The pupils spoke to 120 pupils in each school.

    safety net

    (Year 7 pupils from Longhill High School after delivering their online safety assembly at Saltdean Primary School.) 

    When asked to give feedback on the programme, 100% of pupils stated that “they had learnt something and that they would recommend this project to others.” One pupil even said “I loved doing this project and want to do it again” and another said “By being part of the online safety project I have improved my confidence.” And in addition to this great feedback, one staff member at Longhill school said to Safety Net “I would like to say a huge thank you for all your hard work with these pupils. They have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it is a memory that they will never forget.”

    A number of pupils taking part in the programme have since been referred to other relevant services, such as Miss Represented, a local arts project for young women, as well as Safety Net’s own school holiday activities programmes.

    Please visit the Safety Net website for further information on the work they deliver or follow them on facebook and twitter for updates. 

  7. In May 2017 Strike a Light applied through our small grants scheme to run a series of workshops in East Brighton as a part of their series - Remembering Together - Life History for the community.

    Strike a Light is a community arts and heritage organisation which engages people in creative and heritage activities - many around exploring memories.  

    With the help of our funding, they delivered a series of 18 workshops over the course of 7 months at three locations in East Brighton - Moulescoomb Library, The Bevy pub, and with East Brighton Bygones in the Whitehawk area. These were aimed at encouraging local residents to engage with their memories, record experiences and celebrate local lives to create life history books to keep and share into the future. As well as encouraging intergenerational integration, the workshops aimed to help develop a sense of local cohesion.

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    Though the groups were open to any local residents, they were particularly promoted to two specific groups. The first was people experiencing early onset dementia, as a way to help support their life changes and memory loss in a positive and grounding way. And the second group was those adopted, fostered or in care.  Life history work was in fact originally developed for engagement and support of looked after people, to nurture a positive sense of belonging and identity. The Strike a Light workshop groups provided a means of support to young people from these backgrounds, who may have experienced feelings of isolation and marginalisation in their lives – giving them a chance to discuss their own experiences with other participants.

    During the guided sessions, participants and carers received resources and reminiscence training, as well as materials to make their books - including old photographs, photocopies, maps, collage and text.

    Each group also had the chance to visit The Keep – a Moulsecoomb based archive and historical resource centre. This gave participants the chance to explore their family history using Ancestry software and national archives.

    The books created are something that participants can treasure themselves and share with other people, as well as being used by carers and family members to learn more about the person they are providing care for.

    Creative Director Nicola Benge sent us some photos of the sessions at The Bevy in action and told us: “During our sessions with groups of older people we have laughed and cried whilst making creative and personal books about participants’ memories that they can take home and share. It’s an honour and a privilege to engage with groups from East Brighton to share their life stories.”

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    Find out more about the organisation on the Strike a Light website and keep an eye on their facebook page for details of upcoming workshops. 

  8. Early last year, the 225 (Brighton No.1) Squadron Air Training Corps received £500 from our small grants scheme. Based at Preston barracks, the group is attended by many young people from the East Brighton area. The 225 Squadron are a uniformed youth organisation for young people aged 12-20yrs, they parade 2 nights a week, for 2 and a half hours per evening and deliver training to enable cadets to progress through their cadet classifications. They applied for funding to purchase 2 new laptops which were necessary for cadets to complete their ATC exams, all of which must now be taken online. With limited computer resources, the group had previously struggled to put cadets through their exams in a timely manner. These delays meant that cadets' progression on to further topics were therefore also slowed down.

    225 squadron remembrance day

    (The Air cadets at the Remembrance Parade 2017, photo from the 225 Squadron twitter account)

    Cadet Warrant Officer Jane Kistnasamy, who submitted the application to us, got in touch to say “Thank you so much for awarding us the grant. We have been able to purchase the 2 laptops as planned. The laptops were already put to use within the same week of purchase, with cadets using them to take their exams. Our project of teaching the air cadets syllabus is ongoing so the laptops will be in good use. We have future plans to run collaborative projects which wouldn’t be possible without the new laptops.”

    We’re glad the laptops have been so useful and wish all the cadets the best of luck with their future progression through the STC programme.

    Look up the 225 (Brighton No.1) Squadron ATC on twitter @225SqnATC to follow what they’re up to. 

  9. What a year for East Brighton Trust! We've awarded small grants, partnership grants and enrichment grants, we've celebrated some big anniversaries with our friends and we've celebrated ourselves, having awarded over £500,000 to groups in the area.

    Watch this short video about our year.

    And if you want to find out more detail about some of the groups we've supported, have a browse of our Recently Funded Projects page. 

    Our next deadline for small grants is 5pm on 12th January and you can find the simple online application on the Sussex Community Foundation website. Please make sure you get your applications in on time and share with any other local groups who may not have heard of us before. Our small grants of £500 are for groups in Moulsecoomb, Bates Estate, Saunders Park, Manor Farm, Whitehawk, Craven Vale, Bristol Estate and Higher Bevendean.

    Many thanks for your support and enthusiasm this year! We wish you all the best for the festive season and we’re looking forward to connecting with you and getting involved in lots more work with East Brighton’s communities next year. 

  10. East Brighton Trust offers grants to community groups and charities in the East Brighton area, an area covering some of the poorest wards in our city.

    We have typically allocated grants through three channels – our small grants of £500 which we award 3 times a year, our partnership grants offering funding for projects over a longer period of time, and our Colin Sayers ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ grants which give an extra helping hand to community groups in need. 

    But we have recently become increasingly aware of the need for different kinds of provision for some of the people living in the areas we support.

    This year, parents, teachers and headteachers across Brighton & Hove launched the ‘Save Our Schools’ campaign to oppose austerity measures which are cutting £11.5 million from education in Brighton and Hove and £3 billion to schools nationwide. On the frontline, schools are painfully experiencing the effects of these cuts, with funding being drastically cut and art, music and sport provision being cut back or lost entirely.

    It is in this respect that East Brighton Trust realised we could step in to provide some assistance where it is particularly needed. We therefore decided to support Moulsecoomb Primary School with a grant to fund some of the extra-curricular activity that the school could not afford to fund themselves. We have named it an “Enrichment grant” to reflect the nature of the activities the grant will fund – things like the breakfast club, after school club and day trips that will enrich pupils’ educational experience and consequently their lives. We have agreed to fund the school with £10,000 per year for the next three years to support these activities and with just the first instalment, an impressive amount has already been achieved. Over 120 children attend the afterschool club every week and 120 go to breakfast club – a phenomenal number. Each class was assigned a proportion of the grant to make sure the money was well distributed across the whole school and the individual classes could then choose how best to spend their share of the funds.

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    Moulsecoomb School got in touch with a list of activities that the East Brighton Trust Enrichment grant has been used to fund or part-fund. These have included:

    • Year 6 Residential trip to PGL activity centre
    • After school club
    • Breakfast Club
    • “Chocolatician” visit to Reception
    • Heritage activities for Year 2 as part of their Enrichment week
    • Seven sisters trip for Year 3
    • Samba band sessions (for Years 4, 5 & 6) for the Brighton Festival
    • Bus tickets for i360 trip & adult tickets (all year groups)
    • Gladrags sewing project for Year 6 girls
    • Stone Age workshops for Year 3 & 4
    • Bus tickets for Pizza Express trip
    • Set up funding for toddler group & Nursery “Rhyme and Shine” group
    • Nursery and toddler group trip to Tilgate Park

    We’re proud to be able to support the school in this way and look forward to hearing more about the activities taking place at the school and the difference it is making to local children’s lives. Thank you to the school for sending over these lovely photos of how some of the money has been spent. 

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    We’re also pleased to say that a similar grant has also been agreed with St Marks School in Whitehawk and we will share more details of this once the school begins to spend it.  

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    East Brighton Trust director Warren Carter is also a governor at Moulsecoomb School and he wrote back in March about the effects the budget cuts were having on the school and the ways they are working with other organisations to try and plug these funding gaps.