Body & Soul, a charity based in Islington, responds to the complex needs of people living with and affected by HIV through the direct delivery of comprehensive, evidence based interventions designed to maximise wellbeing and promote social and personal chances for success. They have a clear programming and intervention approach which maps their theory of change (our Impact Strategy) and guides their overall service provision focus on: mental health, physical health, psychosocial wellbeing, practical support and maximising productivity.
The DM Thomas Foundation donation of £4,635.95 has had a tremendous impact in supporting 50 of Body & Soul’s BaSe members, children between the ages of 10 to 12 and 360 Teen Spirit members aged between 10 to 12 years.
In particular, Daniel, an 11 year old that was showing a distinct lack of engagement in education. His mother Rachel was particularly concerned by his lack of literacy. Research has shown the way “an individual feels about him or herself as a reader could clearly influence whether reading would be sought or avoided” Henk & Melnick (1995).
The support from the DM Foundation allowed Body & Soul to provide children like Daniel with the space to develop as readers and writers by using their existing interests as a platform-using content such as magazines, websites and blogs as well as fiction and non-fiction. It has also supported our homework sessions attended on a weekly basis encouraging participation and group camaraderie.
Daniel had a particular interest in piano playing techniques and encouraged to research and try out different sounds, rhythms and tones – this level of support on a one to one level and the open structure provided enabled his interest to flourish, as it was encouraged and valued at a fundamental level. Body & Soul places a high level of importance on encouraging communication between children and family members with their team of volunteers and educational support workers, and thanks to funding such as this they are able to keep lines of communications open in knowing how best to support our members. The outcome of this is impacting how their young members approach learning and academic achievement. With a growing confidence and enthusiasm for their education, their motivation and future prospects are guaranteed to flourish. For this they thank DM foundation for their contribution to the educational future and success of their young people.