School children in Felixstowe are set to learn new communication skills thanks to a donation from a local councillor.
Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council and local ward member for Eastern Felixstowe, has donated £1,350 from his Enabling Communities Budget to Suffolk-based Kinetic, enabling them to deliver a new project aimed at helping Year 6 pupils to improve their communication.
The ‘Learning to Communicate’ project helps children communicate with confidence in a safe environment, whether to their peers or adults. It consists of three workshops for participating schools, in-school or via Zoom depending on the guidelines. Follow up sessions will also be available, and teachers have the ability to expand on lessons if needed.
Cllr Gallant said: “This is a fantastic project which gives children the opportunity to learn new skills to help them express how they are feeling and communicate with confidence – something which is more important than ever as we continue to deal with impact of Covid-19.
“I am very pleased that I have been able to donate this money to support such a worthwhile project, helping our young people deal with what has been an incredibly difficult time for many and to help them move forward and – hopefully – look to the future.”
Debbie Ball, Managing Director of Kinetic, said: “The Learning to Communicate roadshow is a new concept in helping students to have a voice and more importantly allows the students to express how they are really feeling in a safe and informed way. This is an approved course which encourages children of all ages to communicate feelings, worries and how to communicate effectively with peers and adults.
“We are very excited to be given funds to allow this to be taken to children in Felixstowe and will allow us to show the children techniques for good communication. This will enable the community cohesion that we are always trying to promote within Kinetic and the work that it does in schools. We are extremely grateful to the Council for backing this scheme and to allow us to engage the children of Felixstowe which will in turn allow freedom of conversation with their families and wider community, which is a very powerful tool for the future.”
East Suffolk Council’s Enabling Communities Budgets support activities delivered by community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations. A total of £357,500 has been allocated for 2020/21 from the New Homes Bonus, funding generated through new houses built in the district.
Distributed equally amongst each of the Council’s ward members, each councillor has a £6,500 Enabling Community Budget to spend on community projects or to develop new projects which tackle community needs in their area.
Previous projects which have benefitted from Enabling Community Budget funding include play areas, village hall refurbishments and equipment, community events, projects supporting people with disabilities and the purchase of defibrillators.
Community groups wishing to apply for Enabling Community Budget funding should contact their district councillor or visit www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/enabling-communities-budgets