We are pleased to be able to assist a number of charities working both in the UK and overseas. Click on the headings to find out more about the charities.
The Didymus Charity supports 100 young people from rural communties in the Andes of Peru to access further education through the Scholarships Programme. The support includes academic fees, living costs and psychological support. As a result of taking part in this programme, these young men and women have become the first in their families and communities to access further education and become young professionals.
With your £500 grant we were therefore able to support 14 schools from our waiting list, rather than just 5 as in our original application. Unfortunately we do not have permission to share the school photos, but if you look on our website you can view photos, testimonials and feedback stories from schools in this year’s programme.
The support of Didymus allowed Fertile Ground to give meaningful, creative engagement to young professional dancers in the North East. The grant came at the time when performing arts, freelance artists and young people in particular need our support and ways to express themselves creatively more than ever.
In August 2019 FRP received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary service in recognition of the opportunities and guidance we offer to volunteers, this is the highest award a UK charity can achieve, and it gave both volunteers and staff here a huge boost. Undoubtedly the work of our Volunteer Coordinator was a core part of this, and as such the funding received from Didymus was pivotal in our success.
‘The Didymus Charity has enabled Garage Art Group to continue helping our members and the local community during the pandemic. The Group have run online art sessions, completed a mural and produced an online exhibition entitled ‘Confinement’. We have aimed to give artwork advice, provide support and reduce isolation.’
Thanks to the Didymus grant, we were able to invite additional musicians to visit sessions as part of our leadership programme. As a result, we were able to expose participants to a varied selection of live instruments including, flute, double bass and trumpet. This activity had a positive impact upon participants’ creative expression and is an aspect of the project that we plan to develop.
As part of our leadership programme, we were also able to invite a local sign-language leader to teach participants sign-language which could be used at home with their child. We have since incorporated this into our weekly sessions and it is something which has greatly benefited several of our participants who have displayed delayed language development. This is an area of the project we plan to develop given that the children of young parents can often show delayed communication skills once they start school.
“Having the belief and support from the Trustees of Didymus has made a huge difference to Transition, a small project with big dreams! Their support has helped us to support more people; it has enabled us to develop in a way that would just not have been possible without it. As a result of their funding we are now able to offer Resettlement Packs to our beneficiaries on release from prison.”
We are very grateful for the Didymus Trust was supporting our engagement programme this year, as it allowed us the space to figure out the challenges and work towards improving and developing the project in the future. We are now continuing to build on these partnerships to ensure that in future years, we will have a stronger ground to offer this opportunity for greater number of young people.
We gathered feedback from the young people:
“The boatyard is perfect for singing, learning guitar, learning ukulele, learning the piano, learning the drums, learning the djembes and to learn how to DJ and then you can PARTY!!” M age 12.
“I like the studio because it gives you more chances to play different instruments. You can also come here to sing or just talk. I think it’s a great experience.” I age 12.
“The Boatyard has provided me with a lot of knowledge on things such as how to record music. I have also learnt how to play the guitar. It lets you learn loads of new things such as ukulele, drums and Djembe. And they help you become more confident. It is an amazing experience.” E age 15.
“I love the studio. It’s the best place. I wish it was open every day. I have recently learnt the ukulele and guitar. And bongos and drums. The Tanyard has built up my confidence and I’ve made new friends and I have done things I though I could never do before. I now feel like I can do almost anything!!” E age 11.
We have more positive feedback like this too.
Our grant enabled the charity to run an additional music session every week for 9 months. Attendance increased by 33% which shows how our grants can make a difference.
“‘The autism training days that Didymus CIO funded have been an essential step in the success of work placements such as Josh’s. They have helped develop our employers’ understanding and skills when working with our young people with autism. One of the biggest barriers to employment that these young people face are the misconceptions held by employers about hiring people with learning disabilities, and the training has given staff the confidence to fully embrace Josh as a valued member of the team. Without this sort of training, the meaningful, sustainable employment opportunities that Team Domenica provides for our candidates and their employers would not be possible’ – Lisa Campbell-Squire, Programme and Strategy Director at Team Domenica
“The hotel was given really good information and training about how to work with Josh, and what issues may arise. He was able to express aspects of hotel work that he found difficult and Jurys Inn adjusted his work schedule accordingly – for example, the noise and vibration of the industrial vacuum cleaner made him feel ill due to sensory overload. After the autism training, they understood that this was not due to laziness, but was caused by his Autism and didn’t ask him to do that job any more “ – Josh’s dad
“The training today has been really helpful for our team and we now better understand Josh. He is a valued work colleague, but it is true that we sometimes don’t understand his behaviour. These meetings are really important and we look forward to the next one.” – Josh’s colleague, Jury’s Inn
“Team Domenica has also come out and trained our teams and offered support and guidance every step of the way, which has developed our own team’s skills and awareness” – HR Manager, Jury’s Inn
“Your grant funding helped us offer our music service for people with learning disabilities in this challenging year – some online, which was new for us, and some in-person. It meant we could bring a little bit of joy in bleak weeks.”