Community Group, Catching Lives, in Canterbury, received £5,000 from Kent Community Foundation to give homeless people access to arts activities
Kent Community Foundation and The Lawson Fund awarded Catching Lives £5,000 towards providing access to art activities for the homeless, rough sleepers and vulnerably housed.
Lockdown and COVID restrictions meant that Catching Lives had to adapt from their usual afternoon art activities at the centre and find a new way to engage with their clients who were finding life during the pandemic increasingly difficult. They used the funding to introduce an ‘Art in a Box’ project which involved local artists donating their time to create activities and colouring sheets for clients to use.
Terry Gore, General Manager, Catching Lives Canterbury Open Centre, said “We were pleasantly surprised at how popular the “Art in a Box” packs were – even clients who had never engaged with our usual art activities at the centre were keen to receive a pack. There was such a positive response to the packs that we will continue to work delivering remote art activities in this way. We were also able to share our surplus packs with other organisations supporting the homeless and young people, thus reaching homeless people who would normally not get the opportunity to engage in our art and craft activities.”
Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Kent Community Foundation is delighted to support the Catching Lives art projects, which offer many benefits including, improving participating clients’ self-esteem, physical and mental health, their wellbeing, communication skills, and confidence as well as helping clients to stay away from drugs and alcohol and we were impressed with how they adapted during the pandemic and were able to reach more people who needed support.”
Terry Gore, continued, “The key to our ‘Art in a Box’ success has been that we have been able to remain in touch with clients when they were accommodated in the community, some out of the Canterbury area. Although safely housed, they often felt more isolated, away from friends. Our Outreach Officer told us: ‘The art activities were a great distraction for those with addiction, especially in the early hours when TV was rubbish and there was nowhere for them to go. Some of clients used the activities as a competition with each other, boasting that theirs was the best! A couple of clients have kept their projects with them in their personal belongings.’ This funding makes a huge difference, and we would like to say a very big thank you to Kent Community Foundation and The Lawson Fund, for their support.”
To find out more about the impact funding from Kent Community Foundation makes across Kent and Medway visit www.kentcf.org.uk/impact-videos
About Catching Lives
Catching Lives supports rough sleepers, the homeless and vulnerably housed in Canterbury and East Kent, offering immediate respite at their Canterbury Open Centre and working with clients to help them tackle their issues, access accommodation and find motivation to take steps towards personal recovery and independent living.
About Kent Community Foundation
Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for twenty years. In this time, it has distributed over £45 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.
They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.
Responsible for more than eighty philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.