Such a pleasure to visit some of the projects funded by the Big Lottery in Hornsey & Wood Green.
I always enjoy it – and today was no exception. First off was a visit to Exposure where lottery funding is being used in such an imaginative way. Young people with mental health issues produce their ‘mind journey’ in written, illustrated and printed form.
The project originally started with ‘mind films’ of which we saw three. In each case the young person with mental health issues supprtoed and enabled by the Exposure team was able to visualise their experience through the medium of film Absolutely breathtaking work – from the young man who found a degree of peace in the rituals of the Japanese tea ceremony (it may sound bizarre – but if you saw the film the connection was so clear), to the young man who told his story through the bumps and breakdowns of his car – to the final story of a woman whose suicide from the misery of the loss of her child inspired a young man who survived his own suicide attempt and was in hospital with her – to live and recognise how precious life it. Grim in parts – but so powerful and true – and completely compelling as it was their story.
The second visit was to Action for Kids – where a very generous grant has facilitated the purchase of IT equipment that helps their young people (who have multiple physical and learning disabilities) to participate in actions and activities and have a voice in what they want to do or to happen. It’s quite difficult to explain in words – but when you see, for example, an enterprise project that results in a product – bags, mugs or mouse mats – you can really see how this works and how it builds confidence and participation. Clearly this new technology has enabled the young people to accessa whole new level of choice -(their choices) through computer – using special touch screens or a specially devised mouse (in one case) for a boy who had no hand movement and could manipulate the mouse using his chin. He now, quite happily, works his way through YouTube with no problem.
So – a huge thank you to the Big Lottery – who are really helping so many organisations in the valuable work they are doing.