Since the beginning of the year Imogen, our Charityworks graduate, has been running a photography and art group every week at Advance's office in Hackney.
The group is for customers from Hackney and Newham but open to others from further afield. Imogen has worked in partnership with the Leonard Cheshire charity who supplied computers, software and accessible computer equipment (keyboards, mouse, screen readers etc) and in partnership with local service managers and support workers to enable customers to attend every week.
Imogen also worked with Outreach volunteers to help her to run the group. Lessons, themes and projects are planned in advance with the volunteers and these include local group outings to take photos and make videos.
She also developed a partnership with The Bubble Club – a club night in London for people with disabilities. She arranged to show Advance customer videos on the big screen and display an exhibition of their art work within the club space. She attended the club night with a group of customers and support workers, working again with local services to ensure all could get to the club and get home safely.
This is the beginning of what we hope will be a longer term partnership with the Bubble Club. Imogen's efforts have raised Advance’s profile locally and enabled partnership working within a network of organisations connected to The Bubble Club. Customers have developed skills, in computers, art and photography. It has also helped them to build confidence and develop friendships, and to be involved in activities that are meaningful to them.
Imogen is coming to the end of her year with us a Charityworks graduate and we applaud her initiative. She has made a real and lasting difference to Advance customers by helping them to engage in a meaningful way in their local communities.