Your Votes Are In!
2021 Recipients of the Clothworkers' Charity Fund
Each year, we encourage all Clothworkers to donate, within their means, to the Clothworkers' Charity Fund (a sub-fund of The Clothworkers' Foundation). The Company not only matches all donations, but also allows you, as a donor, to decide where the grants are allocated by nominating and then voting for shortlisted charities—making the Clothworkers' Charity Fund (CCF) an effective and rewarding way to directly support causes important to you.
The votes are in for 2021. This year, £125,000 will be awarded across Skillway, The Girls' Network and Tender.
Skillway provides tuition to disengaged and disadvantaged young people struggling with the academic environment of school. Skills taught focus on manual crafts, but with pastoral support and mentoring, leading to improved opportunities for further training and employability. Skillway aims to motivate and instil confidence in disadvantaged young people by teaching them practical workshop skills. Hands-on learning is delivered by volunteer skilled craftsmen and the students are treated as young adults in an environment unlike school and are prepared for the world of work and/or further training. Courses are held in woodworking and joinery crafts, professional metalworking and basic engineering, creative arts and conservation skills.
Clothworkers’ Charity Fund Grant: The grant will be used to provide a holistic educational experience in a woodland setting, teaching a range of practical skills and addressing mental health through teamworking. The three-year project will help to bridge the gap between education and health, particularly mental health, of disadvantaged and disengaged young people. The students will learn the woodworking and metalworking basic trade skills, supplemented with whole days in the woods. They will experience and learn ecological good practice, dendrology, bushcraft, green woodworking, metal working skills, compass and map work. They will also be able to explore the construction and use of simple solar, wind and water power to demonstrate the direction of travel the planet needs for a sustainable future; this will help to prepare them to participate in the 'Green Jobs' that are being envisioned and created in the UK. Most importantly for the young people will be the fact that the programme is ‘Learning by Doing’ and is largely separated from the academic environment that so constrains most of the young people supported by Skillway. They will be able to relax in a natural environment, become attuned to their own needs, and be supported in addressing their personal problems and expectations. The project budget includes equipment, rent of woodland, a vehicle, and additional staff costs.
The Girls' Network
The Girls’ Network believes that no girls should have their futures limited by their gender, ethnicity, background, or parental income; and that all girls should be supported to realise their ambitions, to discover their self-worth, and to develop their capacity to shape their world and their future.
There are more than 100,000 young women than young men who are NEET (not in education, employment or training) and economically inactive. At age 16, 50% of girls from the poorest homes achieve no GCSEs above a D. The Girls’ Network aims to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a mentor and a network of professional female role models. The charity inspires and empowers them to address some of the barriers they may face through gender inequality, which is exacerbated by poverty. Many don’t believe they are able to access well-paid, high-status careers or know how to pursue them, much of which stems from low expectations and a lack of knowledge and support from their immediate network.
Clothworkers’ Charity Fund Grant: The grant will be used to fund a new Development Manager post for two years to enhance and streamline efficiency, consistency and programme delivery, expand reach, and drive programme developments. The Girls’ Network currently delivers mentoring programmes in London, Sussex, Portsmouth, the West Midlands, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and the North East. Each area is managed locally by a regional network manager.
Collectively the programmes currently enable participation around 1,100 girls each year and require a mentor pool of c1500 volunteers. There are 163,000 girls accessing free school meals (FSM) – around two thirds of the girls on current programmes are on FSM and the others are selected because they have circumstances that require additional support (e.g. they may be carers).
The national focus on achieving greater equality, diversity and inclusion within the workplace has never been greater and is evidenced by the continuous flow of daily enquiries from companies of all sizes wishing to partner with the charity which has seen exponential growth in demand for programme delivery.
The regions are at full capacity in terms of programme numbers and partners that they can support, and operate independently. The Girls’ Networks wants to expand its reach, both for participation numbers and geographically. The new Development Manager role will focus on streamlining programme delivery, communications to all stakeholders, and developing the internal processes and technological support required, improving monitoring and compliance of safeguarding, expanding mentor training and learning opportunities, and also providing capacity to progress and fully embed a new virtual mentoring programme.
Tender uses theatre-based education to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people. Reaching more than 30,000 young people each year, its work helps them build healthy relationships – preventing them from becoming victims or perpetrators of abuse and equipping them to have relationships based on equality and respect.
Tender’s core aims are to educate young people (aged 8-25 years) about healthy and unhealthy relationships, challenge attitudes and inequalities that enable and conceal domestic abuse, and empower young people to seek support if they or a friend is experiencing abuse.
Working across schools and youth settings, Tender is the only UK charity focused solely on preventing domestic abuse amongst young people. Using creative, arts-based programmes, it provides a safe and playful space in which young people can engage with sensitive topics from a safe distance and develop key life and social skills. Through exploring their rights, responsibilities and choices in relationships, children develop increased resilience and reduced tolerance towards abuse and become ambassadors for healthy relationships in their communities.
Tender also provides training and resources for professionals working with young people to prevent abuse. The charity currently works in London, Devon, Avon and Somerset, Kent, Hull, Norfolk and West Yorkshire.
Clothworkers’ Charity Fund Grant: The grant will be used to pilot a creative, online toolkit for preventing domestic abuse within four primary and secondary schools, over a year-long period.
Tender recently created an “alpha” version of an online toolkit, titled RE:SET (Relationship Education: Schools’ Equality Toolkit). Combining e-learning for staff, lesson plans for students, creative resources and best practice guidance, it provides an accessible, holistic approach to preventing domestic abuse in the lives of young people and embedding healthy, equal relationships into a school’s ethos and community.
The one-year pilot of this resource will be across four schools in London, Norfolk and Avon & Somerset – regions in which Tender has an established presence and that report a particularly high prevalence of domestic abuse. Social distancing measures and the closure of schools have halted most of Tender’s work with young people at a time where they are most in need of support. As children attempt to navigate their relationships almost entirely online, they face heightened risks around tech-facilitated abuse and consuming inaccurate content about relationships.
To pilot the toolkit, Tender will recruit two part-time coordinators to establish partnerships with a London and regional-based primary and secondary school respectively. Working closely with each of the four schools, coordinators will provide supported, monitored access to the RE:SET toolkit: guiding staff in its use, evaluating its effectiveness, and engaging staff and students in developing it further. This could take the form of improved design and usability, new content creation and/or programming adjustments that aid schools to use it independently of Tender, meaning it could be distributed more widely and sustainably. Throughout the pilot, Tender will identify, revise and build in these user-informed revisions, culminating at the end of year in a complete resource and research report that can be shared with schools teaching Relationships and Sex Education across the UK.
Make a Donation
Inspired? Making a donation to the Clothworkers' Charity Fund is easy—all members of the Freedom and Livery are encouraged to do so. Visit our 'Charity
' webpage to find out more about setting up a one-time bank transfer or a standing order for regular giving (such as annual or monthly payments). You can also contact Emma Temple
at Clothworkers' Hall if you have questions.