Passion for Learning unveil plans after £300k award

A Cheshire charity that assists children from some of the most disadvantaged areas of Ellesmere Port, Chester and Winsford has been awarded £300,000 by the Community Match Challenge Fund.

Passion for Learning is a volunteer organisation, working to support children who are experiencing disadvantage or challenge in their lives. 

In normal times, their work is delivered in schools through 1:1 volunteer-led sessions which are tailored around the specific needs and interests of the child.

Viv Couche is the trustee and development manager for the charity and said the £300,000 would fund a number of exciting initiatives.

From large gazebos to facilitate outdoor learning to training up a member of the team as a forest school practitioner, we have ambitious plans for the grant,” she said.

“We will be allocating some of the grant to fund theatre practitioners for drama-based sessions which build the children’s literacy skills, numeracy, confidence and resilience. 

“Alongside this work, we will be using some of the grant funding to recruit and train Passion for Learning volunteers to meet the ever-increasing level of support needed across our region. 

“Some of the grant is earmarked for developing digital skills to benefit children and volunteers while the effects of the pandemic remain so challenging.”

Passion for Learning is also appointing Sue Hughes as education development manager to develop home learning and mitigate the impacts from lost learning due to the pandemic.

Viv added: “Lastly, Passion for Learning has allocated some funding to a project which connects children with residents from their local care homes, using literacy development to tackle social isolation and build community bonds.”

She said the role of Passion for Learning has never been more important because of the impact of Covid-19. 

“We recognise the huge impact the pandemic has had on our region and want to do all that we can to make a difference for the families who need this the most,” said Viv. 

“When schools were closed, many families struggled with the basics to help their children learn effectively at home and our work was dedicated to providing the practical resources to make this possible. 

“In the coming months, we have an ambitious number of projects to address the worst effects of the pandemic from the perspective of children’s learning and wellbeing.

Our local communities are among some of the hardest hit in the country and as a team, we are dedicated to doing all that we can to make a difference for those that need it most.”

Steve Morgan, founder of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “The role of Passion for Learning is absolutely vital in giving opportunities to disadvantaged young people.

“The pandemic made a difficult situation even worse and the £300,000 will help the charity change the lives of those communities most in need of help.”

The Steve Morgan Foundation and has been tasked with administering the £20m Community Match Challenge Fund and has so allocated £19.7m.

The fund consists of £10m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and £10m in match-funding by Steve Morgan.

The £10m from the DCMS came from a new £85m Community Match Challenge Fund and is part of the Government’s £750m support package for charities.

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