Over £39,000 of funding to support marginalised members of society in Boscombe
The Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe (BEAF) has received £39,852 of funding raised through the Health Lottery South West and distributed by People’s Health Trust for their two-year project to support marginalised members of the community in Boscombe, Bournemouth.
The Outsiders Project aims to give a voice to members of the community who are often marginalised, and they do this by working with artists to support and nurture creativity. The project offers two creative writing and drama workshops – one for vulnerable women and another open group for people in recovery such as ex-offenders and those dealing with issues of isolation due to mental and ill health.
The project itself was set-up by long-term workshop participants who have been mentored to become workshop leaders. This experience of participating in the workshops prior to leading the sessions gives these leaders an excellent understanding of what is important to those attending. Overall, this experience and understanding allows the group to provide a safe space to build confidence, motivation and self-esteem while encouraging peer-support and new friendships.
As a result of Covid-19, issues relating to mental and ill health are more prominent than ever before, meaning that the services provided by The Outsiders Project are warmly welcomed in the community. During the lockdown period, the project continued to support its members through online sessions.
A member, Debbie, said, “For me, personally, the Zoom sessions have been a lifeline. As someone with trust/abandonment issues, the consistency during such an uncertain, isolating time, made lockdown much more bearable, and less frightening.
It gave me the support and encouragement I needed to continue writing. Since I joined The Outsiders Project, my confidence has grown a lot, but I still need the input from the workshops, to keep the momentum going. If that had been taken away from me, I would've stopped writing. Outsiders has given me a voice, without you, during lockdown I would've lost it, and for me, that would've been devastating.”
Carol Maund, Project Director of BEAF said: “Although it was difficult at first, some members were finding it hard to adjust to not being at the sessions in person and meeting their peers. But as the sessions continued, members got more comfortable, and we had even more people than ever before join us – which was a big win for us!
“This was all possible thanks to the funding from the Health Lottery, it was essential for us to keep the project going and continue our support to our members”
Commenting on the project, Martin Ellice, Managing Director of the Health Lottery, said “What Carol and her team are doing is great. We are always proud to support such projects that aim to give people an opportunity they wouldn’t have had otherwise”