Welcome to the Second Edition of our Newsletter: The Impact Informer.
As we reflect on another busy and effective quarter at Impact Initiatives, we find ourselves immersed in the heart of our renowned Ageing Well Festival in Brighton and Hove, now celebrating its remarkable 10th year. The energy and enthusiasm surrounding the Festival has grown with each passing year, and 2023 is no exception. We are delighted to present a strong and diverse program tailored to individuals aged 50 plus, comprising of nearly 150 events, thoughtfully orchestrated by 80 dedicated partners, spread across 58 unique venues.
This year’s festival theme, “Expanding Horizons and Linking Lives,” was thoughtfully chosen by the Ageing Well Lived Experience Advisory Group. It is our hope that this theme will inspire individuals to explore the vibrant offerings of Brighton and Hove, embrace new experiences, and establish meaningful connections with like-minded people. Our longstanding commitment to serving a diverse audience remains true, and we are confident from initial feedback that this year’s festival is once again living up to that pledge. Our aspiration is for this festival to not only bring joy and laughter but also to provide fresh experiences, cultivate new skills, and the opportunity to forge new friendships, regardless of where you live in Brighton and Hove.
However, alongside our Festival celebrations, we must also share the sombre news that as of September 30th, our West Sussex County Council Funded Advocacy support has ceased to exist. This loss deeply affects those living in West Sussex with learning disabilities, physical/sensory impairments, or autism, who have relied on this support for both issue-based and self-advocacy. These individuals have demonstrated incredible self-advocacy skills in their fight to reverse the decision made by WSCC, actively engaging in campaigns and reaching out to local Councillors and MPs but unfortunately, they have been unsuccessful in their attempts to safeguard funding. Please note our West Sussex Advocacy support remains available for parents with learning disabilities who are at risk of or in, childcare proceedings across West Sussex.
We extend our gratitude to all who have championed this service in West Sussex for nearly three decades. Our thanks go to our amazingly dedicated staff and volunteers who have tirelessly worked to enhance lives and ensure voices were not only heard but truly listened to. We also acknowledge the invaluable support of Referrers and Carers who recognised the transformative impact of effective advocacy. We are committed to exploring avenues to reinstate this vital service in West Sussex, but for now, we wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to all our advocacy partners and supporters.
In closing, we invite you to delve into the second edition of the Impact Informer and hope you find it an engaging and informative read.
Children, Young People & Families Round-Up
Head of CYPF – Jennifer Tulloch
“I really feel this lady is someone who is safe and I can open up.” – School pupil
Impact Safety Net
- We have received some excellent feedback from our SNAP & BRAVE programs. We offer small group or 1:1 support to children and young people who are vulnerable or at risk and who would benefit from some empowerment coaching. The aim of these programs is to increase children’s confidence, self-esteem and resilience and improve their ability to communicate assertively and deal with conflict. Children and young people aged 8 – 14 can be referred to us for a range of issues which could include: support bullying behaviour, anxiety and low self-esteem, difficulties managing their feelings and behaviour. Referrals can be made by Brighton and Hove schools by emailing email@example.com
- Safety Net were also thrilled to be invited back to Safety in Action Week, which is organised by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for Year 6 pupils from across the City. We were able to deliver a Making Safer Choices workshop to over 400 primary school children to help support their transition to secondary.
Impact WASP – Whitehawk After School Project
- New funding has allowed WASP to buy a whole new range of equipment for the children attending after school club. WASP is averaging around supporting 30 children a day with a lengthy waiting list now in place – it is as popular as ever.
- The team, in collaboration with Safety Net, successfully ran the holiday play scheme at City Academy Whitehawk, through Holiday Activities and Food funding. It was great to provide so many children with a hot meal and play opportunities over the long summer.
- Planning is now underway for a Winter HAF taking place in the Christmas holidays. Staff are looking forward to working with more children in the Whitehawk community.
Impact YPC – Young People’s Centre
- YPC staff have been busy developing and delivering their youth programme over the summer months.
- The Creativity Club has delivered a ‘Food and Mood’ group with the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership working with young people to see the link between diet and emotional wellbeing.
- They are also delivering an ‘Animation’ project with young people using animation as a tool to explore feelings.
- Young Volunteers are working on a GROW project in our Courtyard garden and have delivered a ‘Baking Workshop’ for young people in the YPC Kitchen.
Adults & Older People Round-Up
Head of Adults & Older People – Maxine Thomas
“She understood our needs and made it as easy as possible to make sure we understood our paperwork and what they wanted us to work on and made sure our voices were heard.”
West Sussex Advocacy
- As mentioned in our opener, Impact’s West Sussex County Council Funded Advocacy support, ceased on 30th September 2023 and we are deeply saddened to see the loss of such valuable support for people living in West Sussex with learning disabilities, physical/sensory impairments or autism.
- We are working hard to find ways to re-establish this service but for now would like to say thank you to all our advocacy partners and supporters. Please note our West Sussex Advocacy support remains available for parents with learning disabilities who are at risk of or in, childcare proceedings across West Sussex.
Brighton Autism Self-advocacy Group
- The new self-advocacy group held its first official meeting in September. The group will run monthly both online, and in person, at Friends Meeting House on the last Tuesday of the month. The meetings are free and open to any autistic adult living in the Brighton and Hove area.
- The aim of the group is to be a self-governing entity run by and for autistic people. Its main focus is on improving services and the Brighton community in general for autistic people, as well as providing an opportunity for autistic people to meet peers and make friends and contacts in a safe, friendly space. If anyone would like more information about the group and its dates please contact their supporter Aylishia Chiffers on Aylishia.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07920 234605.
- Aspie Trainers is a team which employs autistic adults to design and deliver autism training to professionals, parents and carers who work, live with or otherwise support autistic people.
- As our trainers are autistic they are able to provide excellent insight and detail into the autistic experience, as well as practical advice on ways to positively support autistic people. The service is currently having its busiest year since it was formed in 2014, running sessions for West and East Sussex County Councils, as well as working with smaller more specialist teams such as: Independent Lives, Bloomin Arts and St Barnabas Hospice. So far this year we’ve trained 382 trainees in total from across 31 training sessions.
- Since April 2023, we have supported approximately 110 people, of which 61 of these were new to the Workability service.
- In this same period, we have been able to support 31 service users into new paid employment or help to retain their current role, these roles have included bakery assistant, retail assistant, waste operative, beauty consultant and sales manager.
- Working in partnership with Aldingbourne Workaid as Supported Employment West Sussex(SEWS), we have been able to offer some excellent work experience programmes with organisations such as Waitrose and Cloisters Café.
- We are delighted to welcome Citizens Advice, The Clare Project and Age is a Stage to the Ageing Well Partnership. The addition of these partners ensures we are even better set up to support the diverse needs of residents aged 50 plus in Brighton and Hove.
- At Hop 50+ we offer a unique and vibrant space offering social and physical activities based alongside a cafe. Part of our citywide Ageing Well programme it is the flagship for services for older people. A place where people feel they belong, are valued, and benefit from mutual support.
- Brighton and Hove Buses have generously given us funding for some exciting trips for older people to take part in to help combat isolation and loneliness. So far the trips have included: a visit to The Depot Cinema in Lewes where the group went to watch Sense and Sensibility, and have a lovely lunch. And a day trip to Leonardslee Gardens along with members of Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard.
Ageing Well Festival
- The ever popular Ageing Well Festival is now running from 29th September to 12th October and the theme this year is Expanding Horizons and Linking Lives, which was chosen by the Lived Experienced Advisory Group.
This year, with new festival partners joining the programme, we will be delivering more events than ever before ranging from a mindfulness in nature session at One Garden Brighton, Baking for Wellbeing at the Stoneham Bakehouse, Stories of Women from Brighton’s Past at Hove Museum, to a Brewery Tutored Tasting Session at Unbarred. There truly is something for everyone.
There is still time to book on to events by either calling 01273 322948 or visiting www.ageingwellfestival.org/2023-events
- As one of Councillor Jackie O’Quinn, Mayor of Brighton and Hove’s, chosen charities, 2 brave members of staff will be abseiling down the i360 on Saturday 11th November at 9am. This challenge is in partnership with RSPCA Brighton, Rise and Together Co. Please do come along and show your support.
- We have officially launched Conscious Collective pioneered by our CEO’s sister, Vivienne Ridley. Local Artists/Makers and Independents very kindly donated art, crafts and pre-loved clothes for our first Pop Up sale at Unbarred Brewery and Taprooms in Brighton last month. 100% of the money from the sales went directly to Impact Children, Young People and Families to help support young people’s mental health services in Brighton and Hove. Thank you to all those who supported the event.
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Impact Initiatives including Workability, Advocacy, Training/Aspie Training re-shares
Ageing Well Festival
Training – NEW
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