Westwood 2015 is a small volunteer led charity based in South Yorkshire, established in 2015 and becoming operational in 2018 - our focus is to prevent people from becoming socially isolated. We do this by running community engagement activities that bring people together to meet, socialise, and undertake an activity together, be it Creative Writing, Crafts, Art and Family Learning.
Prior to lock down our main focus of work was Older People and Families and in March at the start of Covid 19 we were able to move our community activities online within 10 days of lock down; it was totally pioneering new ground for us, but we were committed to keep families and individuals connected as a community albeit online.
We succeeded with initially very little funding, a small group of committed volunteers who developed and deliver creative online activities for both individuals and children and carers.
During lock down with generous grants from funding bodies we were able to support both isolated families and individuals with creative activity packs – in all we sent out about 700 packs.
It was our belief that the activity packs added value and brought a ray of light into the difficult and dark day’s adults and children were experiencing and we had some really positive messages through Facebook Messenger, text and email from individuals who took part.
And from comments from our participants
We really appreciated receiving the activities as it’s been a long tough time to keep Ava entertained and also keep her mind off the current crisis and focused on fun. Thank you so much for providing these packs they really have made a huge difference to us!
There should have been an excellent rating on this form! We have really appreciated this support from Westwood. It hasn’t been easy to continuously generate ideas for activities to occupy my small children as lockdown has gone on and these packs have helped to take the pressure off. The materials have been good quality and even having the colouring in sheets has reduced the printing out we’ve needed to do and therefore impacted positively on finances. There’s been a lovely mix of themes and a good variety of activity types to keep the children engaged. There’s been a sense of excitement around the arrival of each pack which is rare thing in lockdown and that’s definitely played its part in keeping our spirits up.
The canvas and buttons made a real impact on the kid’s enjoyment of the activity and we ended up with some really special pictures to keep.
It has made a difference to an otherwise challenging and less exciting week of homeschooling!
I would like to introduce to another initiative we are hoping to run and hence this appeal – it is us, Westwood and its supporters giving some back to those in need.
Toys From Us – an appeal to support children in need this Christmas
We want to be able to deliver 100 toys to families in need in our locality so that their children have a present to open on Christmas morning.
Our funding total is £1,000 – all of what funds are donated will go in total to this appeal – nothing is to be used for administration or other programmes at Westwood.
Children are our future; the current health emergency will be with us for a while longer; our aim in running this initiative is to bring some happiness and kindness into the life of isolated families so that they can experience a taste of normality this Christmas time.