Guildford-based charity halow project has received a grant of £10,000 to help young people with a learning disability the opportunity to engage in meaningful daytime activities.
The initiative, called A Reason To Get Up!, will promote practical and personal skill building through these activities, and help them gain the same sense of purpose, satisfaction and opportunity for social interaction that other people get from having a job. This will be achieved through the promotion of inclusive activities and, it is hoped, will support community cohesion.
Wealth management company St. James’s Place provided the grant for the initiative through its dedicated grant-making Foundation, which is funded entirely by contributions from partners and staff and matched pound-for-pound by the company.
A pilot scheme has already commenced and includes healthy living, creative arts, vocational and recreational pursuits. It is hoped that the ‘Watts Going On’ activity, where young people use recycled materials to create eco-friendly lights, will become a social enterprise company and employ some of halow’s young people. Sessions are held weekly at a local arts centre and as well as making the lights, they also learn about electrical circuits, solar power systems and gain experience in working as part of a team.
Alan Young, partner at St. James’s Place and ambassador for the St. James’s Place Foundation, said: “I am delighted to support this important local initiative that will do so much to help young people with a learning disability to take their first step towards the world of work.”
The grant will provide a “real boost” to halow, according to Paul Donetta, commercial director of the charity. “It will enable us to expand the range of activities which will help boost young people’s self-confidence, give them a sense of belonging and increases their aspiration for the future,” he said.