Based in Borough Green, The Multiple Intelligence Hub (MIH) offers alternative, hands-on learning experiences and activities for children and young adults with special education needs (SEND). Through horticulture and other land-based activities, coordinators with expertise in SEND help children and young people with their social, emotional, and personal development, as well as improving their academic outcomes by helping them to re-engage with education or find an alternative way to learn.
The Hub offers a breadth of outdoor activities, thanks to its lease of 7.5 acres of land within the borough of Tonbridge and Malling. These activities are a refreshing and practical way of learning for those with additional needs outside of school term time in a beautiful rural environment. Many beneficiaries are autistic, and the Hub’s trained staff provide a particular focus on speech, language, and communication needs, with an understanding of how to deliver hands-on learning to unlock a young person’s potential.
The Multiple Intelligence Hub applied to Kent Community Foundation for a combined loan and grant of £13,400 to improve the infrastructure on their site and allow them to double the number of children and young people with SEND that they could support each day.
Donna Mclean, Project Manager, Multiple Intelligence Hub, said, “Thanks to the funding we have now completed conversion works of an old outbuilding that was used for storage, into a garden room where our children and young people can learn about gardening and horticulture. This room is situated in an area that we are currently developing with our young people into a sensory garden and the space is also being used as a mini ‘Farm Shop’ with a kiosk area, where our young people can visit and purchase tuck shop items and produce, they have helped to grow.
“We have also been able to plan for growth of our animal assisted activities, by purchasing two new animal shelters and fencing for additional animal enclosures. At present we have two mini pigs and two goats, and we run small activities, showing our young people how to care for them. We will now be adding chickens and sheep to our outdoor animal care programme and have planned for the introduction of donkeys and/or alpacas, within the next twelve months.
“Multiple Intelligence Hub is predominately an outdoor provision and while we have indoor space for other activities, we try to make the most of our beautiful outdoor space for most of our activities. We have however over the past year been met with many restrictions from adverse weathers. We are completely open to all the elements, so even on the loveliest of days, we are forced back indoors to escape the sun. Thanks to the funding support from Kent Community Foundation, we have also been able to install an outdoor timber shelter to act as an outdoor classroom! Thank you very much Kent Community Foundation, we couldn’t have done all this without you!”
James Horne, Grants and Social Loans Manager, Kent Community Foundation, said “Kent Community Foundation is delighted to support Multiple Intelligence Hub CIC through our Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund with an unsecured loan of £11,000, combined with a grant of £2,400. We’re very pleased this will be used towards on-site improvements that will double the number of children and young people MIH can accommodate from five to ten each day.”
Social enterprises and charities interested in applying for a loan, should visit www.kentcf.org.uk/apply/apply-for-a-loan or call James Horne, Grants and Social Loans Manager on 01303 814 500.
About the Multiple Intelligence Hub CIC
The Multiple Intelligence Hub (MIH) is a community organisation supporting children and young people between the age of 8-25, with SEND and particularly Young People with Speech and Language & Communication needs, are on the Autistic Spectrum or with associated needs. Their unique provision offers young people a bespoke approach to their social development, with a flexible outlook, designed around the young person’s individual needs. Their premises offer a relaxed, sensory environment where young people can feel at ease and open to get involved and shape their own learning experience.
About the Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund
Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund, (KSELF) aims to bridge the increasing funding gap for Kent’s new and existing social enterprises, by offering unsecured loans of between £10k and £100k.
KSELF is a blended loan and grant fund, offering unsecured loans to assist new and existing social enterprises. The loan has a flat interest rate of 5% with a split between capital and interest payments remaining fixed throughout the term.
The financial package will include an element of up to 30% of the loan amount, as a grant. In addition to the funding provided through the Scheme, investment readiness and business support will be provided by Kent Community Foundation’s dedicated Grants and Social Loans Manager throughout the whole process.
Social enterprises interested in applying for a loan, should visit www.kentcf.org.uk/apply/apply-for-a-loan or call James Horne, Grants and Social Loans Manager on 01303 814 500.
The scheme, delivered by Kent Community Foundation, was originally established with funding from Kent County Council in 2012. Further funding from Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital, managed by Access was injected in 2017.
About Kent Community Foundation
Since 2001, Kent Community Foundation has distributed over £44 million in grants and provides financial support to hundreds of charities and deserving causes throughout Kent and Medway.
To provide this financial support, Kent Community Foundation helps individuals, families, and organisations, establish and administer their own charitable funds to support the local causes that mean the most to them and where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.