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Who are we?
Established in 1999, Vita Nova is a local charity supporting those in recovery from drugs and alcohol abuse through engagement in a range of arts activities. The activity builds participants’ self-worth, social skills, and self-esteem in a safe and dry environment, and reduces the stigma around addiction.
Through the arts, in particular theatre, Vita Nova contributes towards creating a healthier, safer community. We work with people from diverse backgrounds including the elderly, ex-homeless, local refugees and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Being part of Vita Nova builds participants' self-worth and self-esteem within a safe, supportive, and caring environment. Members talk about Vita Nova as a ‘family.’ Engaging with the project gives participants purpose.
Over the years, we have helped hundreds of people on their journey be it in education, employment or in finding a way to live a positive, fulfilling, and healthier lifestyle.
Our Crowdfunder project Vita Nova Arts Charity
LIFE-CHANGING: SUPPORT VITA NOVA TO SUSTAIN OUR VITAL SERVICE
As part of the government's kick-start scheme, we were able to hire 3 kickstart employees for 6 months which helped us grow and since 2021 our work has really begun to flourish.
Due to the kick-starters moving on, part of our business plan moving forward is to employ an arts administrator to support the day-to-day running of Vita Nova continuing and expanding our vital work and outreaching wider into the community. The role will support the planning and curating of community events, arranging school and treatment centre visits, bookkeeping, participant enrolment, financial tracking, and administrative duties. This project is to enable Vita Nova to deliver its creative curriculum, which includes creative writing and textile workshops, theatre group and music class. We will also deliver an effective addiction education programme in local schools and treatment centres evolving this work out into the wider local community in Bournemouth and Boscombe. We will do this by hosting many creative events throughout the year and looking for ways to expand our current curriculum and activity programme sculpted by feedback from participants.
What we provide to our local community is invaluable, it is vital in quite literally saving lives and giving people real purpose again. This is not only for people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction but also people with a range of mental health support needs, as well as those with inclusive needs.
This role will give us the needed capacity to maintain and grow each of our strands supported by our mainly volunteer-based team.
‘I feel like Vita Nova filled a place in my heart that I didn’t know needed filling. Being part of a community that provides a safe, creative space for those that society is often too quick to disregard, and abandon is the most heart-warming part of the job for me; I’ve connected with some incredible personalities and have seen some of the most vulnerable individuals flourish into beautiful souls after coming to Vita Nova. That’s what it’s all about really, giving everyone a chance to live the life they truly deserve. – Previous Arts Administrator
More About us
Economically: Vita Nova is of great benefit to the local community by helping to prevent people from relapsing, post-treatment. This means that people do not have to access mental health facilities, rehabilitation centres or prisons.
Crime: Vita Nova helps counter crime. Vita Nova is part of the holistic recovery scene within the area and is helping to create a healthy community in Boscombe. Not only does this contribute to the participant's well- being but it also prepares people for their next step in life. Prevention work by Vita Nova is vital.
Our leading strand at Vita Nova is our outreach educational work. We provide a highly effective drugs preventative learning experience for schools, educating young people about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse by giving informed choices. Students watch a play that reflects the group’s life experiences, followed by an opportunity to talk to the cast, who are made up entirely of people in recovery. They then participate in a workshop with themes surrounding self-esteem, societal pressure, and confidence. It is an incredibly powerful and moving experience for all involved.
Our Funding Target
What’s our own journey?
At the core of Vita Nova is THE GROUP. They are the heartbeat of the organisation. Vita Nova is inclusive, diverse-ethnicity, Intergenerational and includes people from a plethora of social backgrounds. Addiction does not discriminate.
No-one expected what would happen when real people in recovery from addiction performed a short drug and alcohol awareness educational play for local secondary schools in 1999. It seemed like a good idea! And it was… the positive benefits it had on both the audiences and the cast were quite incredible.
That first production Scratchin’ the Surface was so powerful it became a runaway success and was seen by more than 60,000 young people across the south of England. We haven’t looked back since.
Whether it be running our workshops each week, putting on and touring a play, fundraising, or hosting a community craft market we are always busy and looking for new and exciting opportunities to bring the community together whilst spreading awareness of alcohol and drug abuse.
Coming back after the pandemic
Vita Nova and its participants faced many challenges during and after the pandemic. We are emerging from this period and seeing a bigger demand for our services and activities.
The Independent reported on drugs and Alcohol in August 2021 that: ‘Deaths from drug and alcohol misuse hit a record high following sharp cuts to treatment services across the country, it has been revealed. An analysis by the House of Commons Library found that more than £100 million less was being spent per year on services between 2016-17 and 2019-20. In a record high, more than 11,000 people died from drug and alcohol-related diseases in England and Wales in 2020.’
We are seeing the effects of this with greater numbers joining the Vita Nova family. Our biggest priority is ensuring that we can continue to deliver in our community meeting the needs of local people.