Three young children in green leaves outdoor learning spaceDonations

The Friends of Collett School

We create forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs with Friends of Collett School

The Friends of Collett School approached the Axis Foundation to help convert an overgrown, unused forest area to a forest school area for children with Special Educational Needs. And we were delighted to make a donation of £540 to create learning packs for the project.

“This is such wonderful news! On behalf of everybody at The Friends of Collett School, thank you very much for your donation and support – it is really, really appreciated” – Rhea Dickman , Fundraising Lead, The Friends of Collett School

Our forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs will include outside blackboards, a fit pit for cooking, sensory equipment, a mud kitchen and bug hotel, a trim trail, a living fedge and a den-making area. All these fun and educational work stations will help Collett’s children with Special Educational Needs engage with nature in a safe and supportive space. The children will learn transferable gardening skills, develop communication and cognitive skills and improve their self esteem and confidence.

The Collett School for Special Educational Needs in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire will also invite local community groups and special and mainstream schools to use the forest learning area. More about the school here

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Adapted accessible toilet facilities for Danemead Scouts Camp SiteDisability

Danemead Scout Camp Site

Our adapted toilet facilities increase accessibility to natural beauty spot and educational facilities

Danemead Scout Camp Site encourages young people and the community to enjoy outdoor recreation, providing training in practical life skills as part of their educational programme here. The site welcomes schools, colleges, youth groups, local community organisations. Indeed, over 3000 people stayed on the site in 2019.

And, so that even more people can stay and enjoy this 34-acre ancient, coppiced woodland of unspoilt beauty in Hertfordshire, the Axis Foundation donated £3,000 to Danemead Scout Camp Site to help convert an existing external toilet into a purpose-design disabled toilet and washroom.

“We will always be grateful to Axis Foundation for supporting and helping the funding of the installation of the disabled toilet facility.

“The refurbishment of the toilet room to a disabled facility sits firmly in the social model of disability as it allows the inclusion into the site and facilities of wheelchair users and other disabled persons, by the provision of accessible toilet and washing facilities. We are excited about increasing the use of the camp site for further and additional community organisations”  – Mike Hayward, Camp Site Secretary

More about the refurbishment

The toilet required expanding to provide low level toilet and wash basin. Works also included removing the existing waste and water connection piping and diverting the system and subsequent re-connection and the installation of new fixings, safety rails, alarm system, tiling and new anti-slip floor. In addition, an external ramp was constructed and the existing steel door aperture was widened for wheelchair access.

More about Danemead Scout Camp Site

Danemead Scout Camp Site welcomes schools, colleges, youth groups, local community organisations and is run solely by volunteers. In addition, the Camp Site undertakes environmental conservation work involving the preservation of trees, landscapes, wildlife and their habitats.

There’s more about Danemead Scout Camp Site here

 

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Sophie Hayes survivors of human trafficking blue eye close upEducation

Sophie Hayes Foundation

Foundation supports survivors of human trafficking

The Sophie Hayes Foundation is the only charity in the UK solely focused on delivering employability support, training and resources for women survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £1,000 funds travel costs for 50+ survivors of human trafficking so they don’t have to choose for example, from either paying for food or travelling to the support available at The Sophie Hayes Foundation.

“For many of our women survivors, the journey to sustainable freedom and a life without fear is all too often a mere dream. Over a year we work with the women to turn their dreams into a reality. Thank you on behalf of our programme participants, staff, volunteers and board” – Red Godfrey Sagoo, CEO of the Sophie Hayes Foundation

What the survivors say

“Because of SHF I am in college and I have work experience, you make me have confidence in my life.”

“I’ve learnt how to write a CV because I didn’t know. I have confidence that I have my own plan in the future to open my own nursery school. When you come here you know there is options.”

“I was enjoying coming here, seeing different people different face. You helped myself to relax and reduce my problems. I’ve been coming here seeing different things, when we’re in groups we laugh, we joke.”

Covid-19 Update from The Sophie Hayes Foundation

“2020 the year of uncertainty, challenge, exhaustion, compassion, collaboration, triumph and inspiring leadership.

“A year in which the dedication of so many across diverse fields helped weather the ongoing national storm.

As we head towards 2021 with even more uncertainty; I would like to acknowledge the journey of supporting women survivors at Sophie Hayes, has only been possible through amazing colleagues and strong partnerships. Thank you for helping us weather 2020 and we look forward to being stronger together in 2021.”

More about The Sophie Hayes Foundation

There are an estimated 136,000 victims of modern-day slavery in the UK. They are recruited, transported or harboured for the purposes of exploitation. As a result of their horrific experiences, survivors of human trafficking face serious mental and physical health issues.

Through a programme including workshops, coaching and a community survivor network, The Sophie Hayes Foundation helps women rebuild their lives.

Survivors can live independently by increasing their confidence and their social and professional networks. They gain invaluable work experience, training and education.

The Sophie Hayes Foundation is based in London and delivers the programme in London and the south, Birmingham and the West Midlands, Manchester and the north.

Here is more about The Sophie Hayes Foundation

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Students sitting at tables studying to become Mental Health AmbassadorsEducation

Student Life

Foundation supports Mental Health Ambassador project

Student Life, based in Ipswich, supports the government’s initiative to transform the way that mental health problems are dealt with in our society. They place an emphasis on early intervention for children and young people. The charity also aims to normalise speaking up about mental health and reducing stigma and media stereotypes.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £4,715 will fund one young person to be trained as a Mental Health First Aid England Instructor. They will deliver Youth Mental Health First Aid and other mental health awareness training courses to students to allow them to become Mental Health Ambassadors, creating a unique peer-to-peer support network.

Young people from school year 10+ will benefit from having access to at least one peer who will offer support and guidance through 1-2-1 discussion, through spotting early warning signs of mental health issues and signposting to additional, third party support.

Thanking the Axis Foundation for our donation, Richard Stewart, Chief Executive at Student Life said:

“We are exceptionally proud of our Mental Health Ambassador project and the unique nature of the work that we carry out in education settings across 3 counties.  Part of the uniqueness is that our own young people – not long out of education themselves – are placed on accredited training through Mental Health First Aid England and having graduated, are training other young people in a very relevant and relatable way. This would not be possible without the support of organisations like the Axis Foundation: and our Trustees, our young team and I are so very grateful for this amazing support.”

More about Student Life

Student Life works with young people in high schools, sixth forms, colleges and universities providing support and activities to develop their skills, capacities and capabilities, and supporting their mental health as they go through education into employment. This work is currently carried out in over 60 settings in Suffolk, Norfolk and Kent, with plans to extend into 2 additional counties from January 2021.

And there’s more here

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Woman and child reading togetherDonations

Literacy Pirates

We get on board to support young children with their reading!

Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life. Literacy Pirates helps disadvantaged children who are falling behind in their literacy. The Axis Foundation’s donation of £5,000 to the volunteer programme will benefit 300 children, supporting them with their reading and literacy skills.

“Thank you for your grant of £5,000. We are very pleased to have Axis Foundation on board as a supporter! The money will go towards the costs of running our volunteer programme which is so integral to the success of our Learning Programme. Thank you once again for your support. It is hugely appreciated by everyone at The Literacy Pirates” – Triona Larkin, Head of Fundraising

More about Literacy Pirates

Local schools refer children to the Literacy Pirates. Here they attend a year-long after-school learning programme at one of the two fantastical centres, the ‘Ships’, in Hackney or Haringey, both in east London.

Trained volunteers give the children extra help with literacy skills and support them with their reading. At the same time they help them complete exciting published projects such as books, films and podcasts.

With the help of the Literacy Pirates, children’s reading age improves over 50% faster than age-related expectations.

In January 2014 the Literacy Pirates opened their dedicated learning centre (the Ship) in Dalston and in January 2019 launched a second Ship in Tottenham, Haringey. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, they built a virtual ship in two weeks, and offered weekly activities during lockdown. There’s even more here!

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3 people with Speak Easy NOW (a self-advocacy charity) T-shirtsDonations

Speak Easy NOW

Self-advocacy charity makes video for people with learning disabilities

Speak Easy NOW is a self-advocacy charity run by people with learning disabilities. Two hundred members speak up about things that are important to them, representing the unheard voices of 2,000 people in Worcestershire.

In May 2019 some members with learning disabilities hosted an information day for people with learning disabilities and family carers to help them prepare for growing older and end of life. The day included advice on how to stay happy and healthy in older adulthood, information about wills, property and the law and signposting and practical tips. These are difficult topics and People with Learning Difficulties are often totally excluded from conversations pertaining to their life, and death.

The members of the self-advocacy charity used a donation from the Axis Foundation, alongside other fundraising, to commission some professional filmmakers to create a social media film about the event, about the members own experiences of loss, and the steps they have taken to plan ahead for their own future.

“The donation from Axis was very important to us because it helped us make the video. It is very important for people with learning disabilities to understand this information and to feel more secure about the future.”
Pat Roberts, Member of People’s Parliament

“The donation from Axis was vital to making our video. Donations like this make a world of difference to self-advocacy charity like ours, and allow us to put our members’ ideas into action.” Holly Yuille, People’s Parliament Co-ordinator

The video will be used as a vital communication tool delivering important information on this topic. Speak Easy NOW hopes that it will inspire other families to have open and honest conversations around growing older and end of life.

 

 

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Young Man at the Fluence Foundation being helped with his communication skillsDonations

Fluence Foundation

Literacy skills lead to education and employment

Fluence Foundation helps vulnerable adults and young people, including the homeless and ex-offenders, improve communication skills leading to education and employment.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £2,400 will purchase the licence for the Communicate software to help 30 more people gain literacy and communication skills so they can receive formal education and gain employment.

“On behalf of the Fluence Foundation, I would like to thank Axis Foundation for their kind donation to our project. With your help we will be able to help the homeless clients of Birmingham Crisis by diagnosing any literacy difficulties they might have and provide practical support to overcome these difficulties. Doing so will ensure they have the skills needed to access the other services Crisis provide and stand a better chance of being able to improve their situation” – Paul Bruton, Project Co-Ordinator

More About Fluence Foundation

Those without basic communication (reading, writing, talking) skills become vulnerable, dependent and isolated, finding it hard to connect with others, to engage with society. They are often unable to access employment, training or education to improve their lot. West Midlands-based Fluence runs support sessions using a catch-up, one-to-one intervention called Communicate. They report a significant beneficial impact on the confidence and literacy/communication skills of the people they help in a very short time.

Communicate diagnoses areas of weakness, then focuses on teaching high-frequency language and key grammar rules. Its learning structure uses repetition and achievable successes to ensure the learner grows in confidence and masters the language. Training in speaking clearly and making eye contact, answering a phone or being interviewed is also given – all are examples of communication that, when mastered, lead ultimately to independence.

The Fluence Foundation has successfully run three projects: two helped ex-offenders towards employment; the third gave unemployed adults the literacy skills to access training and employment.

 

 

 

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A lady feeds a sheep at Stepney City FarmDonations

Stepney City Farm

Flourishing education programme at urban farm project

Stepney City Farm is a working farm, providing environmental education and outdoor learning in Tower Hamlets. The grant of £5000 from the Axis Foundation will purchase desks and chairs for their classroom and replace deteriorated furniture.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this support from Axis. The positive impact on lives of green space, ecotherapy, working with nature and animals, gardening and green-care initiatives is well documented: the Farm provides a free and unique facility for these activities for local communities in the heart of one of the most deprived boroughs in the country.

“Our Classroom facilities are key to delivering our environmental programming, providing an indoor learning space used for our curriculum-linked schools programme, young and adult volunteering sessions, bespoke workshops, family events, and our dementia intervention group. The upgrade to the furniture will make the space infinitely more flexible and increase our capacity to deliver sessions and further develop our programming” – Clare Hawkins, Chief Executive 

More About Stepney City Farm

The farm hosts curriculum-linked activities for over 5,000 school children every year. Local children, many of whom rarely get the chance to travel outside of the city, can grow their own food, experience rural arts and crafts and connect with nature.

The urban farm project is based in Tower Hamlets, an inner-city community in London with one of the highest rates of child poverty in the UK. Their educational programmes enable local youngsters, including young offenders and children with special educational needs, to build life skills and confidence and reduce feelings of isolation.

Their Farmer’s Market provides the area with a source of affordable, organic produce. The ‘Furry Tales’ programme provides animal-assisted therapy to those living with dementia. Their volunteer programme brings together 500 participants a year, including those with higher level support needs benefiting from greencare activities, and workers who are keen for an escape from urban life.

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A painter and decorator stood beside branded Bounce Back van.Donations

Bounce Back

Employment opportunities for ex-offenders

Bounce Back is a social enterprise charity providing support and rehabilitation to help ex-offenders find employment. Inside and outside prisons, they provide training in construction so that their people gain the skills, confidence and qualifications to improve their chances of employment in the industry.

The Axis Foundation recently donated a van to Bounce Back so they can get more of their workers and supplies to sites in London and the Home Counties This was the second van we have donated to the charity.

“Our thanks to The Axis Foundation – this [donation] enables us to get the teams in our Social Enterprise out to work… using skills learnt in prison to make a living and turn their lives around” – Bounce Back

Continued support for Bounceback

As well donating two vans and materials to the charity, we have mentored trainees, offered start-up business advice, provided paid work experience and helped Bounce Back’s people find employment. John Hayes, CEO of Axis, spent his volunteer day at Bounce Back, demonstrating the close bond that has formed since Bounce Back was founded.

“Axis is one of the organisations that have been with us from the very beginning. Their support has been over the years has been invaluable and we are extremely grateful.” – Francesca Findlater CEO

More about Bounce Back

Bounce Back has provided employment help for ex-offenders since 2012, working with over 1,000 people. 75% of their beneficiaries go into employment or further training, become skilled painters, decorators and construction workers or set up their own businesses. Beginning as a team of five in 2012, Bounce Back has now grown to a team of 30 providing decorating services for a wide range of clients including Landsec and Elephant and Castle’s Box Park – The Artworks. In addition, they work with schools and private clients. Their future ambition is to expand their operations further and to welcome women and young people from vulnerable groups into their training and rehabilitating programme.

 

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Children at Holy Lodge Centre learning about natureDonations

Holly Lodge Centre

Granting urban children chance to discover nature at Outdoor Learning Centre

Holly Lodge Centre is an outdoor learning centre in Richmond Park. Here they’ve adapted their beautiful two-acre nature trail to allow children – including those with even the most complex needs – to access the natural world.

In 2017, over 5,600 children – 678 of whom were disabled – attended Holly Lodge Centre natural world workshops. For some it was their very first encounter with nature. Many of the pupils live in high rise flats and attend schools with tarmac outdoor areas. They met tadpoles, newts, stag beetles and even slugs and snails: some had never seen such creatures before.

In 2018, the Axis Foundation granted £4,000 towards the outdoor learning centre to create more workshops and provide additional transport so that more children can attend.

“This donation is so exciting, giving children living in urban areas the opportunity to get outside and discover for themselves fantastic invertebrates, birds and pond creatures.

“We can immediately see the benefit these children get from being in a natural space, they get so excited to even see ants! It is most amazing for children who struggle in the classroom, their teachers are delighted to see them so enthusiastic to learn about wildlife in our beautiful setting.

“It is vital that children have the opportunity to explore and discover nature; even more so for children with disabilities who have least access to the outside world.

“Thanks to the generous donation from the Axis Foundation we were able to deliver 12 free workshops… The feedback from the sessions was overwhelming positive with 100% of the schools scoring each session with 5 out of 5 for the group enjoying the session and for the session meeting their curriculum requirements” – Anna King, Centre Manager

What the teachers said

  • “Exciting, engaging tasks….. we loved the pollen games, making a tree, potting plants and the leaves’ hunt. It was perfect, thank you so much”
  • “Hands-on pond dipping enthralled our pupils. Very happy with our experiences, we would love a longer day”
  • “The children really enjoyed looking for bugs and lifting logs to see what was underneath them”
  • “The level of detail in each session was really valuable, the class particularly enjoyed the camouflage”
  • “All of it was really good, especially the outdoor activities where the children can get stuck in with nature”

 

 

 

 

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