You might be forgiven for thinking at 80, Bill Tidy MBE, distinguished cartoonist, writer and TV personality, might want to put his feet up. But why would he do that when he can spend his days helping people at a Lottery-funded project? The Big Lottery Fund’s Sue Barsby tells us more.
Drawing Everybody’s Attention is a project that runs at Jobs Education and Training (JET) in Derby, a charity that provides assistance to the local community in finding courses, opportunities and work across the city.
JET is based in a very diverse area of the city and the project brings communities from all walks of life together, to help them engage with each other and to find employment.
The project uses pictures to help teach the attendees who are dealing with learning English as a second language. The sessions were devised by Bill and JET staff to make learning English interesting and interactive.
Bill, formerly a political cartoonist who made his name with cartoon strips such as the Fosdyke saga and The Cloggies, runs sessions that play with language, encouraging the participants to come up and draw too, engaging everyone across language and cultural barriers. The sessions bring the different communities together and help them to exchange ideas, points of view and experiences as well as teaching English.
“The idea behind the illustrated lecture programme,” says Peter Bartlett, Business Development Director at JET, “was to recognise that pictures don’t need language specialisation.
“It would be a way of getting together groups of different nationalities so that we could help them with English, get them working together in a happy environment and involve them in drawing.
“We’ve been delighted with the level of participation and the feeback that we’ve got and many people have asked to come again.
“The challenge we’ve now got is to explore using this as a permanent tool in our ESOL delivery and possibly adapting it because it’s also a terrific educational tool for young people.”
Drawing Everybody’s Attention received £7,952 from Awards for All in April 2013 to run a series of illustrative lectures for the local community in Derby. Listen to the following podcast for Bill’s thoughts on the project:
What do you think of Sue’s guest blog? Have you been involved in a project engaging people through art? Leave your comments on the blog below or join the conversation on Twitter using #biglf
Dharmendra Kanani, Big Lottery Fund England Director, is on a panel at today’s event to discuss the positive impact of this investment since it launched in 2008. Here he tells us more about the success of Local Food.
“The Local Food programme has made a real difference to people’s lives by supporting hundreds of communities to grow their own sustainable food, to eat more healthily and be more active.
The Big Lottery Fund invested £59.8 million in the Local Food initiative because we believe in the value of making healthy food accessible and affordable. The funding has resulted in our award partner, the RSWT, making grants to around 500 projects across England.
These projects have achieved a great deal, from giving 33,000 school children the know-how to cook healthy meals and helping 150,000 people learn how to grow fruit and vegetables, to enabling thousands of volunteers to cultivate allotments and community gardens.
Local Food has brought small, often neglected pieces of land back to life, developed local infrastructure, engaged disadvantaged groups and contributed to an increase in the physical quantity of food produced at a local level.
That’s why today’s event is so important so we can celebrate and recognise the achievements of Local Food projects.
We’re proud of the difference Local Food projects have been making to people’s lives. These initiatives are helping bring communities together to use people powered change to transform their local area.“
To read about Live Well, Eat Well, a Local Food project in Cumbria. visit the BIG Stories page of our website.
For more information on the Local Food initiative visit www.localfoodgrants.org
Visit the Local Food YouTube channel from Thursday 21st November to view films of all of the projects shortlisted for an award at today’s event.