•  How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

We are a creative education not-for-profit company, so where we can’t directly tackle child poverty we can help and support families and children who are living in poverty through our workshops and online resources to offer fun, quality time while building their confidence, communication skills, increasing pride in their achievements to help them in their educational attainment and alleviate the effects of poverty. We offer lots of fun online activities for individual families for after school fun, weekends or holiday times which are free of charge. Browse through our Resources page on the website or follow us on Instagram and Facebook, You Tube. There are lots of things to dip in and out of from home.  If you’re from a school, Children’s Centre or other community organisation you can access the resources in groups, or signpost them to your parents/children. There are free video, stories, craft and singing resources with downloads of Step-by-Step guides, craft templates, visual timetables – everything you need for your session planning or assemblies. Check out our latest Animal Safari and No Pens Day resources.
We specialise in communication-focussed projects which help all children with their communication skills, whether they have identified Speech and Language Needs,  Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or speak English as a second language at home or not. We make the resources accessible with Makaton and BSL where we can.

In May our online ‘Monster Mayhem’ festival launches. This year, after such a difficult one, the festival is designed to support children in their mental well-being after the lockdowns. A specially composed story of ‘Marge Monster’ takes children on a journey that reflects their experience of COVID through a fictional monster’s eyes, exploring the isolation of lockdown, fears, worries about getting back to playing  or going to school with encouraging messages for re-building friendships and importantly, sharing their thoughts and anxieties towards re-building their resilience and mental well-being. This is important for all children and especially children from poorer families who may live in more cramped housing and went through lockdowns with no gardens or outside space. They may have daily said ‘bye mum/dad/sister/brother’ in the early morning or evening to those who were heading off for shift work in some of the most risky jobs in lockdown: Bus Drivers, Frontline Healthcare workers; Cleaners; Postal and Delivery Workers; and may have had very real and difficult fears. We mustn’t forget too that some lower income families have had drastic personal tragedies through continued illness and bereavement of parents or relatives through the pandemic. Our festival hopes to help children to look forward to better times for their play, education and mental well-being. Monster Mayhem launches on May 3rd and is available throughout May.

  •  Share with our members something positive about your organisation’s achievement or service.

Comments we get from children, parents schools and partners is amazing. It really spurs us on!
When children and  families say things like ‘It was VERY, VERY, VERY fun!”;It really helped him verbally’  ‘Fantastic! Artburst listened carefully to what we wanted and the students really enjoyed the project’.
Feedback from teachers and parents shows high percentages (75%-100%) of positive benefits, saying children have boosted their confidence, have improved in their communication skills and felt proud of what they’ve achieved.

  •  What can other network members learn from you or find out more about through you?

We’d be delighted to hear from network members if they’d like to work in partnership with us or know more about what we can offer. Where there’s an evidence of need we can work together to gain funding to offer tailored creative activities for your group or organisation, to offer creative education for your groups and organisations. Please get in contact with us.

  •  What would most help you achieve your goals?

In lockdown we got funding through the London Community Response Fund/National Lottery Community Fund to develop online content.  We reached so many more families and schools across London.  We aim to carry on the online work alongside our in-school and community face-to-face workshops when safe.  We need to increase our staff capacity and find ways to support the costs of that to reach as many children who need our projects as possible.

  •  Why did you join 4in10? What do you enjoy about being part of the 4in10 network?

As a team we’re all aware of the effects of child poverty and what that means for children in their real and everyday lives. It’s really important for us to be part of this network – we’re kept up to date and learn lots from the reports and publications we hear about in the 4in10 newsletters and we read news of what other organisations are doing. The 4in10 network is a ‘must join’ network. Thanks for all you do there, it is really important work.

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