Since 2013 DIL Trust UK has been supporting the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), which offers a programme for sick children and their families to engage in creative and cultural participation and encourage the development of art, creativity, visual literacy skills, ideas, and communication. This is done using the NPG’s collection of works and a group of artists and volunteers who lead structured workshops.
A stay in hospital is likely to be difficult for a child of any age, illness and hospital stays are stressful, and they disrupt a child’s life and can interfere with normal development. While they are in hospital children may miss their friends and family, they may be bored, they may miss school, and they may be afraid. Children may not understand why they are in the hospital, or they may have false beliefs about what is happening to them. A hospital stay will impact children in different ways, depending on such things as age, the reason for their hospitalisation, their temperament, the closeness of their family and so on.
The NPG delivers its creative and engaging arts programme utilising its network of experienced artists. The programme is run during the school holidays when the hospital school is closed. The prime audiences for the programme are 3 to 16 year olds; it additionally benefits their families – visiting brothers and sisters, parents, relatives and carers.
The programme enables children, some who might never have been to a gallery, to have first-hand experience of working with an artist and be connected to the work of the NPG. The programme draws on different artistic skills using more aspects of art, media, 3D and music than alternative programmes, thus ensuring that all children can join in regardless of ability, disability or need, physical or emotional.
In 2011, DIL Trust UK developed an English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) programme at Crest Boy’s Academy for mothers of under performing students. The programme covers costs for teaching, examination fees, books and materials.
The ESOL project has been active for the past 7 years in Neasden. Nearly 648 women have graduated from the course. This is an area that has a large migrant community from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indian, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Morocco and Somalia. Given the language barrier and culturally imposed constraints on women’s mobility, integration into the UK community remains a difficult task.
The ESOL programme is the only ‘Women Only’ project in Brent Borough which focuses on women’s language and social development. A majority of the students are from the local area as it is the only ESOL Project that starts with a beginner’s level.
Every year, the number of students varies, usually ranging from 80-100 students a year across the levels with 78% choosing to complete further education. Some indicators that capture the impact are:
The impact of the ESOL and mentoring programme is dramatic as in this case education brings immediate returns and benefits in the personal and family lives of the adult women as they integrate into society. Secondly, impact of education is seen in women pursuing further education and training to increase their earning capacity and are willing to engage with their community.
It is worth remembering that this ESOL program is providing a critical enabling service to a group of women whose mobility and time constraints are not accommodated by other mainstream programs.
*DIL Trust UK reserves the right to annually assess all programmes for viability and impact in order to continue funding the programme