This summer, as part of the response to the Grenfell Tower fire, Ark and the Aldridge Foundation have coordinated a programme of events in West London for young people and their families. The West London Summer Programme is being delivered by Future Foundations and is based at Ark Burlington Danes Academy.
Research has shown that children lose some of the learning and confidence that they have achieved at school during the summer holidays. This year in particular, after the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in June, we wanted to develop a programme that ensured there are as many enrichment opportunities available for local young people as possible. We are offering a wide range of activities designed and delivered by professional youth coaches. Therapeutic support is also available for those who need it from Place2Be.
Open to students who attend schools or live in the area surrounding Grenfell Tower, there is a mix of residential and non-residential activities to develop students’ leadership skills, understanding of global issues and inspire creativity and confidence. For younger students in particular, celebrated children’s author David Walliams is dropping in to Ark Burlington Danes one evening for a story-telling session. And the summer finishes with the Voices Festival, supported by The National Literacy Trust, a unique one-day event delivered by a range of authors, performance poets and theatre groups. Many of the events are already fully booked, showing the support and engagement from the local community.
Participants on the programme and their families have also been invited to attend evening events, including film screenings and a BBQ with a fun photo booth supplied by Momentous Photo Booth. The first of these free events was attended by over 80 people from 13 local schools.
Michael Clark, Deputy Chief Executive at Ark, said, “There have been Ark schools in the area around the Grenfell Tower for the last 10 years, so we were keen to do whatever we could to ensure that local young people could enjoy the summer in a safe and enjoyable environment. We are delighted with the impact the summer programme is having.”
Visit the website to find out more: www.westlondonsummerprogramme.org
If you are interested in supporting the programme, please contact Aisha Washington at Ark, or the Future Foundations Summer Programme Director, Lina Akbar.