Monthly Archives: July 2012

Changing lives through colour

To Sally Webb of Connect 2 Colour it doesn’t matter if you are a two year old child, teenager, group of friends or are severely disabled, she believes all of us can benefit from an amazing new creative art process which is captured on canvas.

Unique to the UK, Connect 2 Colour is being officially launched this month and provides an amazing process of communication, connection and creativity, captured forever on canvas through art and colour, for families, special needs, local businesses, schools, other charities and the local community.

Webb says: “In the children’s workshops everyone learns the new skills together which encourages them to communicate with each other as they all learn something completely new and find a connection with the paint that is fulfilling and positive. It is also the perfect solution for a completely different sort of birthday party!”

One happy participant Lindsey Marriot said: “The whole family had a squirty, squeezy, swirly wirly, sprinkly, sparkly time. The result…..a fab work of art for our dining room wall – made with love and laughter!”

During its pilot stage for the last year workshops for autistic children showed improvements in the children’s fine motor and social skills, using the unique technique with paint, glitters, stones and other embellishments with not a paintbrush in sight. More poignantly in the initial public workshops, with a mixed age and ability group including both special educational needs (SEN) and mainstream children, observers were unable to distinguish two out of three children with SEN from the overall group and were also unable to distinguish between artwork produced by mainstream children versus children with SEN.

Webb says: “I have a brother with severe learning difficulties and a daughter with special needs, so at first I started the company really to be able to help the special needs community access art and communication in a completely new and unique way. I soon realized that actually the process was appealing to all sorts of different people including typical children and families and hence the business has taken off beyond my wildest dreams!”

Whilst the special needs community will always be dear to her heart, the key to the workshops for all children is her development of a technique that means you don’t need a creative bone in your body or a huge amount of physical ability to create a true masterpiece. On most occasions the children each work on their own piece of art to take home as a keepsake and where appropriate a collaborative piece.

Connect 2 Colour is already proving so popular that Webb has had to employ an additional four people and has plans to take the business nationwide in the future. First though, in true Webb style, she is launching her charity, ‘Connect 2 Colour Community Fund’, in June to ensure low income families and groups can access the Connect 2 Colour experience.

Webb continues: “Our motto is ‘transforming lives, one canvas at a time’ and we are so fortuitous to have seen this time and time again. The future is bright and extremely colourful!”

Give Hunger the Boot!

Lunch time welly walks for UK schools to end hunger in Africa!

Appeal designed to connect UK schoolchildren with lives of African children

Farm Africa’s Give Hunger the Boot! appeal is giving UK schoolchildren a really fun way to raise funds for African children who are going hungry every day in thousands of communities across eastern Africa.

The UK charity, which works with communities in rural Africa to end hunger and build sustainable livelihoods, is asking schoolchildren, parents and teachers to “get their wellies on” and take part in a mass UK-wide welly-walk to one of its projects in eastern Africa. And back!

The idea is actually quite simple, and nowhere near as daunting as it first sounds. All that’s needed is for schools to plan a sponsored walk – long or short – in their wellies next Autumn term. Each school adds together the total number of welly-miles walked and sends the total number to Farm Africa. If 100 people in a school each walks one welly-mile, then the church has walked 100 welly-miles! Add their welly-miles to those of another 80 schools taking part and we’ll soon have walked all the way to one of the villages in Ethiopia where Farm Africa is working and back! It really is as simple as pulling on those wellies and giving hunger the boot!

The appeal has been designed to capture children’s imagination by giving them an excuse to get their wellies on and have some fun in the great outdoors this coming Autumn. And from an educational point of view the appeal provides teachers with some really engaging Africa-themed lesson plans that will help their pupils learn about the lives of children in Africa, and how they can change those lives for the better.

Other welly-themed ideas we’ve come up with to help children end hunger in Africa include replacing non-uniform day with a welly day – children make a donation and wear their wellies to school for a day. We’ve also created a welly-wanging competition where children see who can throw their welly the furthest – £1 for each throw is added to the fundraising total. Those competitive dads can get involved too!

Jane Sculpher, Head of School at Langley Hall Primary Academy, is looking forward to getting children at her school involved in Give Hunger the Boot this year. She said:

“Farm Africa’s Give Hunger the Boot appeal is a wonderful initiative and I am proud that Langley Hall Primary Academy is supporting it. Our children already have a link with a school in Uganda. The welly-walks will give us a really fun way of increasing the sense of connection between our children and those in Uganda and other parts of Africa. The walks will also give our children a real sense of purpose with every pound they raise making a real difference to the lives of children who are going hungry every day in rural Africa.”

And looking forward to welly-walks all over the UK this year, Farm Africa’s Director of Fundraising and Communications, Pam Williams-Jones, said:

“The beauty of this appeal is that it will connect UK schoolchildren to the lives of the African children whose lives they are doing so much to change by taking part in Give Hunger the Boot. And welly-walks will also stretch UK children’s imagination by getting them out in to the great outdoors this Autumn. Every pound raised will support our work to end poverty by helping families and communities to grow more food, so that children in Africa can lead healthy and fulfilled lives.”