The Susan de Mont Communities of Excellence Fund

Five Community organisations were awarded funds for work that supports women, their children and the wider family members. PLIAS is working closely with these organisations to help further the Education, Training and Employment of women and to jointly work on fundraising and partnership initiatives to secure additional funding for a seamless approach to supporting women, children and their families, enabling them to further their educational and life aspirations.

Asian Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC)

AWRC works with vulnerable women, victims of domestic abuse and their families. They provide training, skills and tailored support for individual women. AWRC is a specialist women’s organisation providing quality assured support services to Black, Minority Ethnic (BME) women and children who have experienced or are at risk of domestic abuse across the capital.

AWRC support women to increase their understanding of health and social care through referrals to adult social care, as part of the advice casework. AWRC arranges workshops that include a mobile screening unit to test for diabetes, blood pressure & general wellbeing.

301 women improved their English language and IT skills through accessing ESOL and computer classes offered by the Asian Women’s Resource Centre. The legacy will continue to support women into education, training and employment.

Many of their clients have complex needs and often, because of their ethnicity and/ or their immigration status, have numerous intersectional needs facing discrimination and multiple barriers to  access services. Being from heavily patriarchal communities that circumscribe women’s activities and ability to participate in society, there is low awareness and understanding of human rights, meaning there can be a deep reluctance to approach services, therefore there is a need for proactive engagement with women and girls in the community.

Potential Mentoring (PM)

Potential Mentoring (PM) works with 5-19 year old’s at risk of social exclusion, offending, re-offending, gang membership, being expelled or excluded from primary and secondary school or college. The main aim is to keep these individuals in education and lower the risk of them offending. Potential Mentoring (PM) has been operating since 2006, with a demonstrable commitment to the mentoring of Children and Young People aged 5-19 years in the borough of Brent.

Since its formation, (PM) has supported in excess of 1500 families, mainly BAME, as well as working with 300 plus of the most        vulnerable and disengaged children in the following London boroughs: Brent, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Slough, Westminster and Richmond. Referrals come from various sources, Primary and Secondary Schools, Colleges, Social Services and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs).

Many of the families have been through relationship breakups and as a consequence; mothers head the majority of the families they work with. As a service provider, (PM) works on self-esteem, life skills, anger management, drug and alcohol and sexual health awareness, along with knife/gun awareness and all aspects of communication.

Programmes are tailored to meet the needs of each individual through one to one mentoring sessions over a 12-week period. PLIAS is working jointly with PM and Social Services with a number of clients on the verge of exclusion from school.

St Michael’s Youth Project (SMYP)

SMYP was set up to raise the self-esteem, self-worth and the aspirations of children and young people to provide educational, musical, recreational, personal development and leadership activities for children and young people aged 8 to 25 years old on Saturdays, after school and during school holidays in order to improve their life chances and better prepare them to recognise opportunities and take advantage of them when they arise.

SMYP brings communities together through music and supports women and families. Their work supports women and families through personal development programmes that help to give the participating children and young people the life skills to achieve and be successful. They provide food and other items for families because of their hidden poverty needs. This is done through the following initiative: The Lioness & Cub Initiative: the ‘Big Sister’ programme to The Girlhood to Womanhood Project. This overlap initiative has a musical focus and seeks to address the growing problem of social isolation for women with young children. The Girlhood to Womanhood Project is an all year round development programme that seeks to provide teenage girls from the local area with the appropriate support in order to deal with issues that are affecting their education and future. The project mission is to provide a platform where young girls can develop their morality, integrity, character, self-knowledge, self-worth and the ability to deal with life and its challenges.

The legacy fund will further develop their music programmes; in particular, further developing the Mother & child initiative: Lioness & Cub, the aim of which is to tackle the growing problem of social isolation amongst women with young children through teaching music in a social setting.

Sufra Foodbank

Sufra Foodbank is a local charity established in 2013 to address both the causes and consequences of impoverishment in the community. Based on St. Raphael’s Estate, Brent’s most disadvantaged neighbourhood, their Community Hub provides a lifeline for  people in crisis – including families living in extreme poverty and people who are vulnerable, homeless and socially isolated. Families across the borough are struggling to survive with rising prices, benefit caps and high unemployment. Apart from being a food bank, Sufra run a food academy and advice surgeries. PLIAS delivers a monthly outreach session, receiving referrals for those in need of information, advice and guidance, training and equipping to improve their future prospects. Sufra provides the following:

  • Community Kitchen that provides a weekly meal for low-income families and combats social exclusion
  • A Food Academy training young people in cookery skills as part of an accredited qualification leading to employment in the catering industry
  • An employability programme supporting the long-term unemployed transition into available roles in the catering and gardening industries

The fund will support Sufra to help women acquire English language skills, improve their confidence in accessing services and take part in accredited and informal learning to help them find work or set up their own enterprises to support their families. By linking this work to the Susan and Alex de Mont Legacy Fund, they can raise the profile of this important work, better advocate on behalf of the women and generate regular funding to ensure that this work can continue for the long-term.

Learning Through The Arts (LTTA)

Learning through the Arts (LTTA) is devoted to creativity, imagination, arts development and educational support geared towards community development. Projects range from music to writing individual imagination and creative abilities. Their workshops promote multicultural learning and enhance deeper understanding for children, youth and adults.

LTTA goals include:

  • Providing training, organising workshops using all forms of creative arts as the medium of instruction. They produce learning materials and educational materials as well as workbooks to support individuals on their programme
  • Organising and providing mentoring schemes in creative arts for children and young adults
  • Engaging in partnership schemes with individuals, organisations and entities that would further the educational interests of the company and its community

Supporting unemployed people, including women through the provision of art and writing workshops as a means of boosting self- confidence and learning new skills.