The Funding Network Alumni - stories from the frontlines of social change

News from social change projects who have pitched at TFN events:

Mixit - 2016 TFN Alumni

Mixit getting ready to go on tour.jpg

 

The Mixit community programmes support former refugee and migrant youth. Mixit uses dance, drama, music, aerial arts and performance.

It was excellent to receive the recognition and financial support the TFN profile event gave our organisation. Every contribution to our annual expenses is highly valued and allows us to continue providing the programme to the best of our abilities. This included weekly free workshops to youth throughout the 2016/17 years, maintaining our youth leadership programme and providing an intensive summer project. We also early in the 2017 year held a Strategic Development Hui with the resulting decision to focus on the development of our Alumni. This new focus has commenced and Alumni members have been supported to attend and co-facilitate the youth leaders annual training retreat, to contribute to the core programme as emerging artists and to be given mentoring to expand their capacity to contribute back into the central Mixit platform supporting younger regular participants and newcomers.

A further tangible outcome is that the pitch coach appointed by TFN to help our young people prepare for the evenings pitch developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of our work and has since accepted an invitation to join the Mixit Charitable Trust Board as a trustee.

Our current biggest is that since the TFN event, alongside operating our year-long core programmes, we have completed and published a book outlining the Mixit history, aims and model of practice - MIXIT IT’S ALL OF US. This incorporated a range of young people’s stories and reflections of what being involved with Mixit means for them, along with discussing their challenges and thoughts around wider issues. It also includes contribution from mothers, artists and supporters. This book is to be launched on Nov 29th, 2017 and will then be available on our web site.

In Jan 2017 we provided a free intensive summer project THIS WAY OUT that brought together 22 young people from a diversity of backgrounds to work with a multi-disciplinary team of artists. The support crew also included drivers, cooks and volunteers.

www.mixit.co.nz

 

Mind over Manner - 2016 TFN Alumni

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Mind over manner is a not for profit organisation that presents workshops to strengthen the potential of our youth – recognising youth as the scaffold for our future.

Mind Over Manner was established because there is currently a desperate and exponential need for our workshops. We are all aware there is a significant increase in teenage anxiety, youth alienation, unemployment, teenage runaways and youth suicide.

Mind Over Manner is effective because it uses a different approach. We use theatre to work for social change in all of our youth culture. 

The sponsorship received from The Funding Network contributed to nine workshop sessions for the benefit of 700 participants.

The Funding Network brought us exposure and profile. Our involvement with TFN gave us a “story” and Susan Haldane was then interviewed twice with Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ and interviewed on Television One NZ. The Radio NZ interview led to a private donation from a listener so Mind Over Manner could tour to other areas of New Zealand.

Both the radio and television coverage elicited responses from people all over New Zealand indicating and providing links to people “on the ground” in smaller towns and cities. With the engagement from these people we could then create workshops and networking throughout New Zealand.

We then presented 2 workshops in each of the following areas. Wellington, Christchurch , Whakatane, Taranaki, Greymouth and Hamilton. The networking from organisations in one town to another created a web of connection and support. This is now feeding back into Auckland…through the organisations. This result has accelerated years of cold calling. Word of mouth recommendations gets fast track results regarding attendance.

The collaboration of whanau and professionals working together to find solutions for neuro diverse youth through these workshops fulfils one of Mind Over Manners primary goals.

Mind Over Manner has undergone many significant changes since the Funding Network donation. The most significant change has been their growth and consolidation as an organisation.

Our credibility as a resource has become solid at a grassroots level in the communities. It has also become a resource for development at a professional level.

 

www.mindovermanner.co.nz

Māpura Studios - 2016 TFN Alumni

Mapura Studios Terry Smith Inside out- Outside in.jpg

One of the important factors identified by the stroke community is that of the provision of emotional support to people affected by stroke. Currently, physical rehabilitation and speech therapy are available for those affected by stroke, however there is little available that has shown to be positive in helping people affected by stroke to build acceptance of new possibilities in their lives post-stroke.

Funding from The Funding Network allowed us to deliver a 12week art therapy programme for 8 people who have been affected by stroke. Re-stART is aimed at assisting individuals rehabilitate emotionally from the consequences in their lives post-stroke. The programme takes participants through 12 two and a half hour modules using art as a tool and a language to explore themes such as despair, fear and loss of identity.

This group centred enquiry process initiates a journey of self-reflection and in-depth examination of the experience of having a stroke. Our programme assists participants make sense of their situation through the use of art as a language to explore and emotionally express what can’t be easily expressed in words. This programme is unique to Mapura Studios and helps provide insight, healing and resolution which assists in renewing motivation and purpose in life. The group environment provides a sense of connection and community for those who may be isolated in their experience.

Funding also enabled us to identify, train and mentor an additional programme leader and additional tutors so that we are able to move toward our goal of delivering this programme two to three times a year in other regions beyond Central Auckland. Another of our stated goals was to increase visibility of the programme so we can attract more funding in the future so some project time has been invested in resource development for additional stroke programmes, potentially for South Auckland and Rodney Districts. Without TFN’s funding we would not have been able to develop the programme and make it portable.

In conclusion, we greatly appreciate the assistance and opportunity that funding from The Funding Network has afforded us in helping enhance the quality of life for the sector of the community that is affected by stroke. 

www.mapurastudios.org.nz

Circability - 2016 TFN Alumni

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Circability offer classes for pre-school, school children, young people, people with mixed abilities, Deaf, the mental health community, corporate and public sectors and invite them all to participate in shows and public events.

Since Circability pitched for funding at The Funding Network, their students offered performances and classes for eight different events. They’ve developed a special table for people in wheelchairs learning to juggle and report that as a result of being involved with TFN they have new volunteers and more subscribers. The team at Circability is exploring the idea of a social enterprise to make the Circability work financially viable and ensure it’s longevity. Classes are well received and there a plans to extend outreach for the accessible circus classes in 2018. We’re seeing their facebook posts for the weekly drop-in summer circus classes for families everywhere. These are held in Auckland’s Victoria Park and are so fun!

Here’s a quote from Azwayne Maclean, who joined the circus class and has gone on to be a key member of the performance team:

“I have had such a rewarding experience being involved with Circability. It gave me confidence and motivation. I was able to be part of it instead of watching from the sideline. I have enjoyed the adapted classes learning new skills and finding what I could do, not what my disability stopped me from doing, all the while having fun and meeting new people and making friends. I have found an amazing group of people who despite their physical limitations are getting out there and making the most of life.”

www.circability.org

e Whakaora Tangata Amokura Teen Parent Program

  The Funding Network event provided a significant boost to the launch of our Amokura Teen Parent program in September 2014, covering a portion of salary for our first Amokura Whanau Coach, Charlene Hepi.  Charlene is now working with nine high-risk, high needs Maori and Pacifika teen/young parents aged 12 - 24 years, supporting them through group courses and one-on-one coaching.  Using a goal-centred approach, Charlene is addressing their complex issues such as sexual abuse, prostitution, drug addiction and gang involvement and helping these young mums to re-engage with their education and plan a career path.   Karina* has just started on the program - she's 21 years old, 22 weeks pregnant with her first baby and has no positive role model in her life.  She was raised without family support in CYF residential care, because her mother was serving a long prison sentence and her dad was murdered in a gang fight.  When we met her, she was unaware of her need for a midwife or medical support and is welcoming Te Whakaora's assistance to get life on track for her and her baby. We are enormously grateful to everyone involved with The Funding Network event for changing the future for young mums like Karina*. * Please note the names of participants in the program has been changed to protect the identity of those in the program.  

 

The Funding Network event provided a significant boost to the launch of our Amokura Teen Parent program in September 2014, covering a portion of salary for our first Amokura Whanau Coach, Charlene Hepi.  Charlene is now working with nine high-risk, high needs Maori and Pacifika teen/young parents aged 12 - 24 years, supporting them through group courses and one-on-one coaching.  Using a goal-centred approach, Charlene is addressing their complex issues such as sexual abuse, prostitution, drug addiction and gang involvement and helping these young mums to re-engage with their education and plan a career path.  

Karina* has just started on the program - she's 21 years old, 22 weeks pregnant with her first baby and has no positive role model in her life.  She was raised without family support in CYF residential care, because her mother was serving a long prison sentence and her dad was murdered in a gang fight.  When we met her, she was unaware of her need for a midwife or medical support and is welcoming Te Whakaora's assistance to get life on track for her and her baby.

We are enormously grateful to everyone involved with The Funding Network event for changing the future for young mums like Karina*.

* Please note the names of participants in the program has been changed to protect the identity of those in the program.

 

Clown Doctors NZ

  Thanks to the money raised during the TFN event in September 2015 we have been able to start a program at the Wilson Centre on the North Shore in Auckland, which will run until August 2015.  A lot of children who the Clown Doctors see at Starship Children's Hospital are transferred to the WIlson Centre for continued physical therapy and respite care. We are now able to visit the respite care villas, the rehabilitation centre, as well as the school, which is also part of the centre.  We work together with the school principal and the play specialists.  We use a lot of visuals; puppets, scarves, peekaboo games, music and dancing as well as a lot of physical contact by holding hands with the children. "The clown doctors were very engaging and widely enjoyed.  They utilized a variety of techniques to involve all the children in different ways as well as distract them from other things happening in the villa." Easter, Play Specialist - Wilson Centre. "It was so awesome to have you in our villa.  Our children loved your company and dancing.  They actually wanted to see more!  Thanks". Mother, Villa 5. "The children are happy and entertained - lovely clowns.  Very gentle to the kids and great with the staff, worked with the kid's strengths." Laura, Respite Care Specialist.

 

Thanks to the money raised during the TFN event in September 2015 we have been able to start a program at the Wilson Centre on the North Shore in Auckland, which will run until August 2015.  A lot of children who the Clown Doctors see at Starship Children's Hospital are transferred to the WIlson Centre for continued physical therapy and respite care.

We are now able to visit the respite care villas, the rehabilitation centre, as well as the school, which is also part of the centre.  We work together with the school principal and the play specialists.  We use a lot of visuals; puppets, scarves, peekaboo games, music and dancing as well as a lot of physical contact by holding hands with the children.

"The clown doctors were very engaging and widely enjoyed.  They utilized a variety of techniques to involve all the children in different ways as well as distract them from other things happening in the villa." Easter, Play Specialist - Wilson Centre.

"It was so awesome to have you in our villa.  Our children loved your company and dancing.  They actually wanted to see more!  Thanks". Mother, Villa 5.

"The children are happy and entertained - lovely clowns.  Very gentle to the kids and great with the staff, worked with the kid's strengths." Laura, Respite Care Specialist.

Tread Lightly Caravan

  Click here to read about the Tread Lightly Caravan's success in the 6 months since their TFN experience.  

 

Click here to read about the Tread Lightly Caravan's success in the 6 months since their TFN experience.

 

Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative

  The Funding Network event was a real turning point for Nga Rangatahi Toa.  It literally took us centre stage and opened us up to a new 'awesome' audience who embraced our work and our kids with open arms. The incredible generosity of the TFN audience members paved the way for us to scale our projects, empowering more vulnerable kids and their whanau to create a brighter future for themselves. Thanks to TFN we have two pilot projects running in 2015. Saturday Skills, a free pre-tertiary community education program, and Art ACTion Connect, a culturally responsive mental health and mindfulness program co-designed with our rangatahi.  Both programs are key to our vision for catalytic change in Otara and Mangere.  Both programs are being implemented in collaboration with other key community organisations in South Auckland; strengthening networks and tackling issues together. Kau mau te wehi TFN! Nga mihi, Sarah Longbottom.

 

The Funding Network event was a real turning point for Nga Rangatahi Toa.  It literally took us centre stage and opened us up to a new 'awesome' audience who embraced our work and our kids with open arms. The incredible generosity of the TFN audience members paved the way for us to scale our projects, empowering more vulnerable kids and their whanau to create a brighter future for themselves.

Thanks to TFN we have two pilot projects running in 2015. Saturday Skills, a free pre-tertiary community education program, and Art ACTion Connect, a culturally responsive mental health and mindfulness program co-designed with our rangatahi.  Both programs are key to our vision for catalytic change in Otara and Mangere.  Both programs are being implemented in collaboration with other key community organisations in South Auckland; strengthening networks and tackling issues together.

Kau mau te wehi TFN!

Nga mihi, Sarah Longbottom.