Lloyds Bank Foundation recognises that small charities can make a vital difference and have granted Arty-Folks £14,982 to improve digital capabilities so we can reach more people struggling with mental ill health in Coventry.
The report “The Value of Small” commissioned by Lloyds Bank Foundation shows that small to medium sized charities are making a huge difference to individuals and communities with their work on tackling social issues such as mental ill health. It finds that small charities such as Arty-Folks have a distinctive impact locally because we act as the glue that holds services and communities together and we are able to reach the most marginalised in society. However, 84% of local government funding is going to larger charities with more than half of funding going to a small number of very large charities.
Lorella Medici who has led Arty-Folks’ work in the city for the past 23 years comments: “More people than ever before slip through the net because they don’t score highly enough to qualify for mental health support even though they are clearly in need. Many also become more ill while they are waiting to see specialist services which can take up to a year even if people are in crisis. But small charities like Arty-Folks can be accessed anytime and people can also self-refer without formalities and waiting lists.
We may be small, but our programme of therapeutic art groups combined with 1:1 mentoring and coaching helps people regain their self-belief to move on in life. Through therapeutic learning and with the support of peers our members achieve a robust level of mental stability.
This is the second time Lloyds Bank Foundation has funded our development ambitions and we are extremely grateful. It is boosting our determination to become more visible in Coventry so we can support more people to stay safe, better manage their mental health, and make positive choices.”
Feedback from a current member: “It is difficult to admit that you have fallen out of line with what society expects and others may not be able to understand how ill it is possible to become. Arty-Folks is a really good anchor where I can relate to people who have been in the same boat and where I am not judged as weak. I feel probably for the first time at home, safe and a part of the community, with friends to call on, and with interests and hobbies that make me feel my life is worth living.”
Arty-Folks runs a therapeutic art group every Wednesday 12.30-2.30 at Holyhead Studios, 16 Lower Holyhead Road, CV1 3AU. For more information visit www.arty-folks.co.uk or facebook/ArtyFolks