Advertisement Feature in association with the Aviva Community Fund 2018
Aviva invited me to pop along to one of the previous winners of the Aviva Community Fund last week which is how I ended up at Success4All last Wednesday after a long day at work and an absolute nightmare of a drive comprising of my sat-nav freezing in the middle of the journey, a pesky engine warning light and a fight through rush hour traffic. I was visiting one of their Learning Hubs to see what they did and to give me an idea of how much of a difference the Aviva Community Fund really can make.
The Aviva Community Fund supports and celebrates groups that make a big difference by working hard in the community. Whether it’s supporting groups for people with mental health issues, teaching life-changing skills or regenerating community areas, the Aviva Community Fund offers support, practical advice and funding from £1,000 up to £25,000, to help as many people as they can in communities across the country to make a difference.
Now in its fourth year, the Aviva Community Fund has received over 15,000 entrants with more than 2,000 causes receiving funding to allow them to continue the great work they do in their local communities.
The idea behind the Learning Hub at Succes4All is that children from key stage two, to young adults, studying for their A Levels can go to do their homework. There’s support available for them from volunteers who give up their time to share their knowledge with these children who could benefit from that little extra help – be it one-on-one or in small groups.
I’ll be honest, I was feeling slightly less than brilliant after my day leading up to visit as I sat in my car recovering from my traumatic sat nav free journey for a minute before I went in but then I looked up and the very lovely Busala had come out to meet me and was smiling so welcomingly that I (almost) forgot my bad day.
She took me inside to a room where there were about twenty or so children sat in small groups with various volunteers helping them with their homework. I had a chat with Busala about the Success4all ethos and she really inspired me with her beliefs that every child should have the same opportunities. Not every parent has the knowledge to help their children with homework when they need it and they don’t necessarily have the money available to pay for a tutor. Busala and the rest of her team passionately believe that circumstances should not decide how well a child does at school.
I commented how surprised I was that the children seemed to be having so much fun while learning and Busala explained that the volunteers were there to help and not judge. Children didn’t need to worry about whether they got something wrong as the only consequence of that happening was that someone would help them to understand it better.
Busala invited me to wander around and see for myself so that’s exactly what I did. I started out sitting next to a student who had the worst homework I could imagine – she had to draw a crumpled-up piece of paper and was clearly struggling. The very lovely volunteer on her table gave her a few hints and tips and explained that the best way to start was just to start which is probably the best advice you can give someone staring at a blank piece of paper. On the same table, another child was sat trying to do some quite complex maths problems which he was whizzing through so once he’d done his homework, the volunteer went and got some of the groups own textbooks and gave him some extra work to challenge him a bit more. He didn’t think he could do it but with a little encouragement he was away and was almost finished when I got up to see what else was happening.
There were children doing all sorts of different subjects and the volunteers were there for them when they were needed. Some were needed more than others depending on the age of the children and the subjects but there was one lady who was sat teaching a boy his times tables and his face when he mastered it and managed to recite them without help was amazing! She high fived him and he just couldn’t stop beaming as he did it again.
Success4All is an amazing initiative and to offer what they do to these children is no doubt making a huge difference to their lives. They’d like to be able to offer this in more areas than they currently do and having seen their work first-hand, I genuinely hope they do.
I’d pulled up outside Success4all feeling a bit sorry for myself as I wanted to be at home with a cup of tea after the day I’d had but I’d left an hour later feeling all warm and fluffy and more than a little inspired.
Community groups across the UK have now submitted their applications for funding to the Aviva Community Fund and they need your support, in the form of votes to help get them through to the next round.
So, if there’s a community group that’s close to your heart or even just one that you think deserves support, head on over to https://at.aviva.uk/GetVoting – voting is now open and will close on 20th November.
Also if you’re a group that hasn’t submitted and would still like a helping hand, advice or inspiration on how to keep making a difference in your local area, the Aviva Community Fund is also making resources such as tips on how to fundraise and raise awareness through PR and social media available on https://www.aviva.co.uk/services-and-support/more-from-aviva/aviva-community-fund/.
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