Impacting communities through the arts and literacy support
We are delighted to support more than 100 charities each year through our small grants programme, which provides funding to non-profit organisations working across the UK. Last month, the Fund visited some of our small grantees including Khayaal Theatre Company in Luton for inter-faith week and Literacy Pirates in Tottenham.
Khayaal Theatre Company
In Luton, we joined an audience of around fifty people, young and old, to hear multi-faith storytelling by multi-award winning Khayaal Theatre Company. These stories highlighted common values of resilience and courage for people of all faiths and none. It was a wonderful experience for all who attended and left with valuable insights.
Our funding has made a real difference in helping the charity to extend its reach and deliver storytelling and workshops to more communities across the UK by supporting Theatre-without-Walls which provides on-demand, small scale and high-quality touring performances and drama workshops exploring Muslim and multi-faith tales of wisdom, wonder and humour celebrating and promoting humanitarian and environmental values. Theatre-without-Walls aims to take culturally underserved and disengaged communities on a journey to help build and nurture creative, cohesive and convivial communities.
Imam Adhem Shaquil, who attend a Theatre-without Walls performance, said
‘Asalaamu alaykum, …. From myself and on behalf of the rest of the staff at the Abrahamic Foundation we want to say a big thanks to you and sister Eleanor for the wonderful performance yesterday. Really and truly captivating, we have received a lot of positive reviews from the parents and children Alhamdulillah. We are looking forward to see Khayaal theatre deliver another performance in the near future In’sha’Allah.’
In Tottenham, we visited Literacy Pirates. The charity had created a fantastic pirate ship environment which helps children aged 9-12 with their literacy, confidence and perseverance. It was fantastic to see the impact our small grant can have and we were very pleased to have been welcomed aboard the ship and able to spend some time with the children, volunteers and staff. Our funding supports the virtual Young Pirates Programme which engages 300 disadvantaged children. The ‘Young Pirates’ are referred from their schools as being at risk of falling behind at school and having fewer opportunities in their personal lives. This targeted support has a transformational impact, helping to close the attainment gap. At least 75% of the children make 5 months or more progress in their reading age and 80% of teachers note improvements in confidence and perseverance. One Young Pirate said
‘Double thumbs up! I like to see everyone every week, and I like doing the writing. I can add more punctuation and capital letters to my writing now. I really like reading action books and anime. I’d like to get better at adding vocabulary to my writing.’
Support from the Fund enables Literacy Pirates to reach more children who are under-resourced through the Virtual Ship. In supporting these children to bridge the digital divide, and providing a safe, welcoming and relentlessly positive learning environment, children can re-invent themselves as successful learners to achieve both in school and beyond.