Local charity Gladrags has been asking people to share their Covid lockdown stories and has created a teaching resource for schools, to demonstrate how people’s lives changed during the pandemic. You can access the resource here →
East Brighton Trust sponsored Gladrags to create this resource as well as funding them to run a community bunting project.
Gladrags is a local community gem – a charity providing costumes and educational resources to community groups and schools. They have collected individual accounts of lockdown which will form a free online and printed resource for teachers and community workers to discuss the events of Covid-19 within their schools, community projects and well-being settings.
The charity has asked people to reflect on how Covid-19 changed things for them and to remark on how they have adapted. They asked people to talk about the challenges and also any positives that have come about as a result of the pandemic.
As well as collecting Covid stories, Gladrags also teamed up with local organisation Sew Fabulous to run a community bunting project. Individuals were invited to make flags from scraps of fabric which were joined together to make bunting for community celebrations post lockdown. An event was held last Saturday at The Bevy and volunteers sewed up the bunting contributions that had been gathered. You can see some of their work over on facebook.
As we have written about before, in the current climate of the Covid-19 crisis we have decided to focus our grant giving on responding to urgent local needs in our area of reach.
Here is an update on the emergency funds we distributed via our partners at Sussex Community Foundation in May as an emergency reaction to the Covid crisis.
Craven Vale Food Bank
The Craven Vale Community Association runs a regular food bank at The Edge community centre. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the food bank volunteers saw a threefold increase in demand for the emergency food parcels they had been providing.
East Brighton Trust supported them with £2,000 of funding to purchase food, supplementing that which they receive from FareShare, BH Food Partnership and elsewhere and enabling them to supply food to almost 100 households. Secretary Alan Cooke dropped us a line to say thanks and told us:
"The money has enabled us to share not only food, but a true sense of goodwill between those who are in need and those who enjoy packing and delivering it - we truly believe that the food bank is pulling the whole community closer together”.
Brighton Women's Centre
Local charity Brighton Women's Centre saw a surge in demand for their services during the lockdown whilst also having to swiftly adapt the way these services were being delivered.
They informed us of their urgent need for additional mobile devices to enable contact between clients and volunteers in the East Brighton area as well as funds to ensure their telephone helpline service remained free for those who needed it. We were glad to be of help and awarded them £2,000 to support the women and families they work with.
Volunteer Services Coordinator Madison Hartwright told us "The money we received will have a great impact on our helpline service, allowing us to reach more women who are feeling isolated through the pandemic. The service is already having a great impact, providing these women with emotional support, and directing them to services that can support them with food, recovery and financial advice. Thank you for supporting us when it was most needed."
Bevendean Food Bank
Bevendean Food Bank runs a regular service for individuals and families experiencing food poverty in Lower and Upper Bevendean, Moulsecoomb, Bates Estate, Saunders Park, Meadow View and the Lewes Road corridor. In April, EBT directors unanimously voted to extend the East Brighton Trust area of reach into Lower Bevendean enabling us to support some of the fantastic initiatives in this area, such as the food bank. We awarded the Bevendean Food Bank £1,000 to support the increase in demand they had experienced since the beginning of the pandemic. Switching from a drop-in to a delivery-only food service to accommodate social distancing and safety guidelines, they now have more than 50 households on their books, meaning a much higher requirement of food supplies.
If your group or organisation in the East Brighton area requires urgent funding then please get in touch via our emergency funding form →
And our partners at Sussex Community Foundation continue to distribute the Sussex Crisis Fund which provides simple and quick access to funding for emergency and unexpected needs. Please visit their website for more information and how to apply →
In the current climate of the Covid-19 crisis and for the foreseeable future, East Brighton Trust directors have decided to focus our grant giving on responding to urgent local needs in our area of reach - that is Moulsecoomb, Bates Estate, Saunders Park, Manor Farm, Whitehawk, Craven Vale, Bristol Estate & Bevendean.
In mid-April, we distributed funds via our partners at Sussex Community Foundation to a number of projects as an emergency reaction to the Covid crisis.
Here is an update on where the funds went:
Moulsecoomb Primary School
We were pleased to award the school £3,000 to provide tablets to help pupils with onsite and remote learning.
The school has been in touch to say this will particularly help with getting young people access to the new online Oak academy – where a schedule of lessons is being provided to cover all ages from reception to year 10.
Headteacher Adam Sutton emailed to say:
“Thank you so much for this, it really is welcome. The recent announcement regarding the online 'National Oak Academy' has made this even more essential if our children are not going to be further disadvantaged by this crisis. This money will enable us to purchase laptops and data-dongles to allow those children without access to technology and the internet to try and keep engaged with the curriculum at home."
We were also able to assist them with a bit of technical support for the school website - helping them make home learning resources and welfare information more prominent as well as adding a link to their fantastic YouTube channel on which they are sharing a storytime each day.
St Marks Primary School
£3,000 was awarded to the fantastic St Marks to provide school meals, transport and cooking equipment for families who need it as well as resources for those learning from home.
Headteacher Jane Fendley emailed to say:
“Thank you very much for your very generous donation of support. This is a lifeline for many of our families."
A tweet (including the pictures below) said "We are so lucky to be able to put together further learning packs to supplement what has already been sent home. @RoedeanSchool have supplied us with a book for every child & @EBT_UK have funded our stationery packs. These will all be sent home next week with more activities."
Both of these emergency grants to the local primary schools are in addition to the Primary School Enrichment Grants which enable the schools to provide extra-curricular activities to enrich pupils’ educational experience and consequently their lives.
East Brighton Food Co-op
We awarded £3,000 to the emergency efforts to distribute food to local people in East Brighton.
East Brighton Food Co-op and their partners have opened two community kitchens as part of the Covid-19 emergency food response for the Whitehawk, Bristol Estate and Manor Farm areas. They have been cooking and delivering meals every day since 30th March - either free of charge or for a £2 donation.
You can find more info on their website and they frequently share updates on facebook including pictures of Buddy the horse out and about making deliveries.
The Bevy Meals on Wheels
We donated £1,000 to support The Bevy's community Meals on Wheels service in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean. They have now delivered over 900 meals and as well as providing tasty, nourishing food, their team is also able to maintain contact and keep an eye out for people in the community they know to be vulnerable. Find out more on the service on The Bevy website.
Some quotes from recipients and some pics below:
“What a lovely, lovely meal. Please thank the chef and everyone and the delivery lady and you. And the strawberries were lovely, you’re doing a great job thank you very much.” Pearl
“The meals have been a weight off my mind because although [my sister] was getting meals delivered before they were frozen and she couldn’t work it out and we were throwing endless meals away. But she loves these hot meals and she is eating them. It’s been a life saver and a godsend for her and for us. Thank you for everything you‘re doing there’s obviously a need.” Jenny
“Thank you so much for all the lovely food. Please let the chef know my daughter thoroughly enjoys his cooking as we all do.” Jacqueline
“The food is absolutely lovely, we really appreciate it. It’s become their highlight of the day and it also helps us keep track of the days and weeks because it’s easy to get lost.” Patrick
Sussex Homeless Support
We awarded Sussex Homeless Support £1,000 to set up a food bank and get food to homeless people in and from the East Brighton area. The images below are from their facebook page, on which they frequently post updates of the food they are serving - up to 90 meals each night.
In light of the current Covid-19 outbreak, the team at East Brighton Trust will be doing what we can to support the groups we work throughout this challenging time, despite the uncertainty of the situation.
In the first instance, we were made aware of some emergency funding needs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and grants were issued this week via our partners at Sussex Community Foundation to the following groups:
to Moulsecoomb Primary School to provide tablets to help pupils with onsite and remote learning
to St Marks Primary School to provide school meals, transport and cooking equipment for families who need it
to The Bevy to support their community Meals on Wheels service (shown above)
to Sussex Homeless Support to set up a food bank and get food to homeless people in and from the area
Further to this and in line with Sussex Community Foundation, who are focusing on quick emergency funding in response to the crisis, we have decided to do the same. This year we will reduce the number of our normal grant-making rounds from three to two meaning the May deadline is therefore cancelled and the next deadline for applications is now Friday 11th September. From this September round onwards small grants of up to £1,000 are available.
To apply to Sussex Community Foundation for emergency funding, head to the Sussex Crisis Fund on their website.
This year we enter the third year of our Enrichment Grant with St Mark’s Primary School in Whitehawk. This fund was launched in 2017 in response to the devastating cuts to school budgets affecting all aspects of school finances, including provision for extra-curricular activities. East Brighton Trust decided to step in and provide local primary schools with support to pay for some of the extra-curricular activity that would otherwise have been cut, activities which make such a huge difference to pupils’ educational experience and consequently to their lives.
St Mark’s decided to use their grant to improve the school’s outdoor spaces – adding an outdoor gym with miniature gym equipment in the first year and to create a secret garden library in the second year. With the third instalment they are hoping to focus further on literacy and we look forward to hearing about that when the time comes.
Directors have also agreed unanimously this year to extend the grant of £10,000 per year for a further three years.
Below is an update from St Mark’s, telling us about the outdoor spaces and the impact they have had so far. We’re absolutely thrilled to have been able to support these improvements to the school site and to see the funds being spent on such wonderful additions to the school.
"Prior to the funding from East Brighton Trust, our outdoor space was stark and lacking in opportunities for children to explore.
Through the project, we have been able to provide an outdoor space that enriches the children’s lives and stimulates their learning experiences. The equipment purchased has given us an outdoor learning environment that will, over time, increase our children’s self belief, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication and problem solving skills and emotional well being.
As the equipment is available over lunchtime and playtimes, too, this had promoted positive behaviour and increased children’s physical activity.
The majority of our families do not have gardens or access to safe outside spaces, so the space has provided opportunities for the children to test their own abilities in a real life context.
The Secret Garden Library and Garden project was an exciting opportunity, drawing match funding from East Brighton Trust and Roedean School. The children have responded positively and when asked what they liked about the library, they said:
It’s very comfy
It’s quiet and calm
There is a huge variety of books
It’s a comfortable place to sit and read
The garden space has provided the children with a chance to spend time in a quiet, calm outdoor environment, which offers sensory experiences with the plants and a forest school area which encourages the children to learn and explore the wildlife. The space is a haven of calm, where the children can feel removed from worries.
We have designed the garden to encourage wildlife to visit e.g. bumblebees, and the children use the space to support their learning topics.
Again, it is open at playtime and lunchtime to allow nurture and nature groups to take place, thus impacting positively on the children’s behaviour and social interaction."
We continued our funding of Moulsecoomb Primary School for the third year of our Enrichment Grant, which enables two East Brighton schools to deliver activities and trips which enhance the pupils' educational experience. Directors also voted unanimously this summer to extend the grant for a further three years.
2019 has been a tough year for Moulsecoomb Primary School which is currently fighting an order from the Department of Education to become an academy. Moulsecoomb Primary is a central part of the local community, providing a vital education to children in one of the poorest parts of our city, in which many families face a multitude of challenges, and playing host to a wide range of clubs and groups, such as the Brighton Table Tennis Club which moved into the school this year.
Thanks to the Enrichment Grant the following activities were all able to take place this year – some were fully funded and some partially funded by the grant. All of us at East Brighton Trust have been delighted to see the funds go such a long way in enriching pupils educational experience outside of their day-to-day lessons.
The school got in touch to tell us: “Without this grant the pupils would not be able to go on so many of these visits because of the cost of coaches / entry fees. The grant we receive is very much appreciated as this gives our pupils new and enriching visits.
Thank you all so much”
Year 3 trip to Middle Street Synaogue
“Year 3 enjoyed a trip to the Middle Street Synagogue to accompany their learnings about the Jewish religion. The students enjoyed every part, from the bus ride to town, to a scavenger hunt around the Synagogue to become acquainted with symbols of Judaism. Because of the grant money, these students were able to pay for a personal tour that included hands-on exposure to historic scrolls and a shofar (Jewish horn used in high-holiday ceremonies) and were able to learn about and experience a Shabbat ceremony. This included traditional Challah bread bought in London and juice (representing the wine used traditionally). The students came back to school buzzing about their experience.”
Year 2 Enrichment Week – July 2019
“Having the East Brighton Trust grant was absolutely fabulous as it gave us the extra money we needed for our end of Key Stage One enrichment week. Our aim was to create a week of opportunities for our pupils which allowed them to experience something out of the ordinary. The money was mainly used to fund a trip to London to see Aladdin on stage in the West End. This was an experience that none of our pupils had been given before and they really enjoyed it. It gave us the opportunity to show them parts of London which they had only seen in photographs and opened their eyes to the world of theatre, dance and music. The pupils came away amazed by the show and memories which will last a life time.”
The photos at the bottom of this post show a display board inspired by the trip. Pupils considered how they would spend their three wishes if they were lucky enough to meet a genie.
The following visits took place during the Academic Year –
Visit from Planetarium
Boulders, Portslade, Brighton
Visit from Reptiles
Brighton Sea Life Centre
2 year groups visited - Natural History Museum
i360 visit and Brighton Seafront
2 year groups visited the Brighton Pavilion
Horrible Histories at Brighton Dome
Brighton Police Cells
“We also have a Year 6 Residential taking place June 2020 to Hindleap Warren Outdoor Centre which parents will be contributing to, the rest of the fees will be paid from the Enrichment Grant.”
This year, we supported yoga charity Mindful Warriors with a small grant of £500 to bring yoga sessions to schools in East Brighton. Mindful Warriors is a social enterprise aiming to increase the physical and mental wellbeing of young people and communities through delivering high quality yoga and mindfulness programs. In their application they told us “Our vision through sharing the practice of yoga and mindfulness is to build healthy bodies with conscious hearts and minds, empowered to reach their full and fearless potential. Our yoga sequences are designed for school environments and can be used as a tool to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as to improve physical and mental wellbeing.”
They have already started to roll out their work in the area and in November took one of their sessions to St Mark’s Primary School, who we also work closely with to support through our Primary School Enrichment Grant.
At the end of the session, pupils were asked to write down what they thought and to draw a picture of their favourite posture. Here are some of the comment forms they received back:
Mindful Warriors also shared some feedback from one of the teachers, who said “Mindful Warriors was a great opportunity for my year group to access an activity that improved their well-being and was accessible for all. The tutor was kind, understanding and clear when helping the children complete the different yoga positions. Even the children that often find it difficult to concentrate were engrossed the whole lesson. Such a great afternoon.”
To keep track of their work in East Brighton and beyond, you can follow Mindful Warriors on facebook or twitter.
Whitehawk football club has announced a new partnership to support good causes - working with the award-winning youth centre Crew Club.
The idea for Hawks in the Community (HITC) emerged through the coming together of like-minded people who loved football and who wanted to make a difference to one of the most deprived communities in the country. The founders worked together to create a ground-breaking new infrastructure that would see the development of community youth football in Whitehawk and the surrounding BN2 5 areas.
They say "Currently there is a lack of boys or girls youth football in East Brighton. In the past football played a crucial part in the development of local young people with many local teams playing grassroots football. It was also more common to have local footballers playing for Whitehawk FC, HITC want to see the football club and the community thrive again and get as many young people playing football again."
Their aim is to develop football for boys and girls from under 6’s to under 16’s. All teams will play under the name of Crew Club Hawks FCand will play in the same style football kit as the first team at Whitehawk FC with their badge also based on the newly designed Whitehawk FC badge.
East Brighton Trust are proudly providing sponsorship for one of the teams with a grant of £650 going towards the development of the new team and purchase of their kit.
Here is EBT director Anne Glow handing a cheque over to the Crew Club's Darren Snow - one of the founders of Hawks in the Community.
Following a very successful 3 year Primary School Enrichment Grant for Moulsecoomb Primary School, East Brighton Trust directors decided to continue the grant, committing to fund the school with £10,000 per year for another three years.
The grant gives children the means to take part in extra curricular activities which the school can no longer afford to fund themselves due to drastic cuts over the last few years. Funding from East Brighton Trust has helped to pay for breakfast clubs, residential trips and days out plus music and heritage activities. You can read more on our enrichment grants page.
Moulsecoomb Primary recently held their annual summer fair - an important date in the local calendar and a chance to raise much needed funds for the school. We were there soaking up the sunshine and having lots of fun with members of the wonderful Moulsecoomb community.
Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project is a small award-winning community garden charity in Brighton specialising in outdoor education since 1994.
Over 20 years since the project started, the garden now offers qualifications to pupils struggling at school and holds workdays bustling with a wide range of people including volunteering opportunities for people with learning difficulties. They work with over 50 pupils a week from a variety of schools, and continue to run clubs at Moulsecoomb Primary at their award-winning school grounds.
They now have nine plots growing organic food, fed from their enormous compost bins, with wildlife ponds, a compost loo, bee hives and a bee garden. The outdoor clay oven is used regularly to feed hungry volunteers every Tuesday and Friday, and their large straw-bale eco cabin is built mainly with local wood and recycled materials.
East Brighton Trust has regularly supported the project over the years through our small grants scheme and we enjoyed attending this year's open day when we got to meet many of the volunteers and see the garden for ourselves.