The Active Citizen Fund is aimed at individuals and small voluntary groups who are looking for project funding. We have two events that can tell you more:
Monday 26th February at 4pm – 6pm at Frank F Harrison Community Association, Stephenson Square, Beechdale, WS2 7DY
Wednesday 28th February at 3pm – 5pm at Willenhall Chart Centre, 19 Gomer Street, Willenhall, WV13 2NS.
Meet with Neighbourhood Policing Units and look at how the Active Citizens’ Fund could support you to build better links amongst local people, promote unity, reduce hate crime and domestic violence. At the event we will cover; What the Active Citizens’ Fund can do, how to complete the forms and what other funding is available. If you would like more information call One Walsall on 01922 619 840.
Wondering what you can achieve? Below Jemma Betts the founder of Jembies Drum café in Beechdale, shares in her own words how the Active Citizens Fund has helped her.
Jembies Drum café is a voluntary project generated through my passion for art, music and dance. It is run by myself, Clair Griffiths and our team of volunteers, Sarah, Jade, Katie, and Thomas. We run Jembies Drum Café every Saturday between 12pm – 2pm for children aged four years to twelve years. Anyone aged 12 plus can attend as a volunteer.
I work as a Community Champion, working closely with families to combat issues such as fly tipping, social isolation and inclusion. I wanted to channel my energy into tackling some of these issues by linking them with my hobbies and interests in art and music. Within the project we promote the recycling of litter, anti-bullying, confidence building and empowerment, creativity, social inclusion and support for children/adults with low level confidence, disability and mental health issues.
I started off as a full-time mother struggling with looking for employment as my oldest had behavioural and mental health difficulties. I felt confined to home as could only complete my daily tasks during school time. I felt under pressure and my confidence was at an all-time low, which had a major effect on my health and mental state. I realised I needed to do something to change this, to be positive for myself and my children.
I began volunteering as a Youth Worker and within months my name had been put forward for a part time paid position. I’m now in my fifth year of full time employment and have succeeded in my journey to become a more confident individual. I’ve been nominated and won two big awards (24 Housing Awards and The Mayor’s Civic Awards). This has had a major impact on me and inspires me to do more. It gives me the strength to put my energy and time into supporting others and most importantly has inspired me to create Jembies Drum Café. The Café has boosted my confidence dramatically.
We have children attend from difference cultural backgrounds such as White British, African and Jamaican to name a few and we promote community and friendship through team building exercises and activities such as learning different languages, aiding the children to work together and inspire each other.
I heard about the Active Citizens fund by phoning One Walsall. I spoke to Dave about the Drum café idea and what I wanted to achieve, he advised me that the project sounded great and that we could put in an application. Through Dave’s and One Walsall’s support, I was successful in receiving Active Citizens Funding, for Jembies Drum Cafe which started in May 2017. Amy, from One Walsall, also assists with the completion of paperwork and monitoring of the project alongside Dave, Colin Williamson and Colin Isham.
The Active Citizens funding allows me to bring my projects and ideas to life by covering costs of materials, venue hire, equipment etc. Without this funding the project would not have been as successful. We are looking to apply for more funding in 2018. and have been asked to attend other settings such as The Dementia Link Line and Charlie Caterpillars nursery to deliver bite size drum café sessions!
I can already see a difference in the children that attend. A young lad who was a little shy and didn’t want to engage, liked to sit and watch what we were up to. Now he joins the group and loves getting involved with our projects. I have also seen the confidence of my daughter Ellese improve as she dances and leads activities within the project. The beauty of Jembies is the children have an input into the activities they would like to do, and we get feedback from Parents saying their children are driving them mad waiting for the next drum cafe session! Others have gone on to join professional dance classes, which is great to hear.
On 17th March 2018 at 12.30 we are going to be putting on a performance of Walt Disney’s The Lion King involving dance routines, acting, art work and costume design. if you would like to get involved, have any queries or woud like to come and watch, contact us on Facebook Jembies Drum Café or email. JembiesDrumcafe@outlook.com