Reggie Yates visits three UK projects building stronger communities

To celebrate the 550 UK projects receiving funding from this year’s Aviva Community Fund, Reggie Yates – one of the UK’s leading documentary makers and avid community supporter– made three surprise visits with Aviva to local groups building stronger communities in Enfield, Wigan and Canterbury.

In Enfield Reggie turned his hand to music and spoken word, in Wigan he learnt the importance of dating and in Canterbury he observed a drama class with young asylum-seekers. In all three visits, Reggie spoke to the change-makers behind the causes, to understand what makes them tick and see how they deliver such important services.

The Aviva funding provides crucial support for those local causes and projects that aim to boost the strength of communities across the UK. And now in its fourth year,the Aviva Community Fund saw 3,300 projects submitted with a hope of funding between£1,000 and £25,000. Project submitters called upon local supporters to champion projects, and an incredible four million votes were placed this year.

In addition to funding projects, Aviva has evolved their programme to provide ongoing support for all projects, not just those that secure funding.

The three community groups Reggie visited were:

Rhema Arts inSchools – Rhema is a North London based non-profit group that uses the performing arts to help young people at risk of exclusion to get them back on track. Reggie joined a workshop at Bishops Stopfords School in Enfield where the children were encouraged to produce their own spoken word pieces and perform them, to help with their confidence and presentation skills. The Aviva funding will enable them to carry out more classes like this over the year.

Embrace Wiganand Leigh – Embrace is a charity dedicated to support disabled people they found there was a real gap in this group’s knowledge and opportunity to date.Reggie sat in on a session where the group discussed the do’s and don’ts of dating and understood from the charity that the Aviva funding will be able to provide a dating agency service, to help them find love.

Kent RefugeeAction Network – with over 3,000 children under the age of 18 arriving in the UK alone each year, the Canterbury based group supports by providing literacy, numeracy, IT and culture classes to help young asylum-seekers and refugees become independent and develop critical life skills. They also carryout drama clubs and football clubs, to help them develop their social skills.With the Aviva funding, they will be able to fund a course in IT and work place skills.

Reggie Yates,Aviva Community Fund Ambassador says:

“As a product of a community drama club, I know the positive impact these organisations can have. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it wasn’t for my experience at the Anna Scher Theatre. I loved visiting these groups and experiencing first-hand the inspirational, life-changing work people across the UK are doing for their community.”

Tom Daniell,UK Retail & Brand Director at Aviva says:

“These films show only a tiny glimpse of what groups like this achieve and are a great way of showing us the challenges that they face day to day. Each year, we are lucky enough to seeen tries that show us the great work community groups across the country are doing.  We hope that featuring in these films with Reggie can act as another way we add value to the groups, beyond just money, by putting the spotlight on their needs for people that otherwise may not come across their work.

“While we know the individual needs and services of groups vary, Aviva believe wholeheartedly, when communities are supported, informed and connected, they are empowered to face challenges and influence the things that matter most to them. This year, Aviva is going beyond just providing funding; we are offering our skills, knowledge and connections to help build stronger communities together, and are proud to support the groups who work so hard to make a difference in their local area.”

To see which projects have received funding in your area go to https://at.aviva.uk/Winners 

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