group of young children reading booksCommunity

Wimbledon Bookfest

Giving 2,000 children a free book to take home

Schoolchildren attending Wimbledon Bookfest World Book Day events in March 2024 can go home with a free book, thanks to the Axis Foundation’s donation of £10,000.

“Developing a love of reading for pleasure is incredibly important and has a lifelong impact on a child’s prospects. Children who attend BookFest events and go home with own copy of the book leave feeling inspired and excited about literature. We are incredibly grateful to the Axis Foundation for their generous donation; helping us to inspire and encourage the next generation of readers” – Fiona Razvi, Festival Director

As one teacher said: “The best part is children getting a copy of the book with each ticket; the next few weeks at school ALL children in the same class are reading the same book which leads to some great book talk and discussion and encourages their love and enthusiasm for reading” – Holy Trinity C of E Primary School

“The Axis Foundation is delighted to support Wimbledon Bookfest. We supported Bookfest because we believe that encouraging young people to read – for both pleasure and education – is vitally important. Giving every child who attends the World Book Day events is a real pleasure for us and we hope through our donation to help Bookfest inspire the next generation of readers” – Michael Hayes, Trustee of the Axis Foundation

More about Wimbledon BookFest

Wimbledon BookFest is a not-for-profit arts and education charity which runs a year round programme of events aimed at supporting literacy in schools and fostering the next generation of readers. Events for schoolchildren and young people include World Book Day events with children’s authors, an Introduction to University day for older students, the Wimbledon BookFest Young Writers Competition, and a series of school events during its annual ten day autumn Festival.  Last year over 13,000 schoolchildren attended BookFest events.  Find out more here

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Local Families Say Thank You

Axis Foundation supports families who were struggling at Christmas

An Axis’ employee applied to the Axis Foundation to support her neighbours at Christmas time. Many were facing loneliness as well as heat and fuel poverty.

And so the Axis Foundation agreed to award  £1,000 which was shared between 27 struggling households.

Our donation paid for 17 Christmas dinners, three supermarket vouchers, two heated blankets, seven heated clothes airers and six toy vouchers.

The residents were visibly touched to receive these special gifts and were all very grateful, sending us cards, notes and messages.

“G says thank you very much for her heated blanket, she is very pleased with it. She was staying with us over Christmas as she has only just come out of hospital. She’s been using it a lot.”

“Thank you, you don’t know how much this means to me.”

“We used the voucher to buy D a pack of Fimo modelling clay. We are going to make each other Christmas ornaments for our tree as keepsakes.”

“Thank you for our Christmas dinner tickets. My neighbours J, C and I met up just after Christmas. We plan to do it on a regular basis, perhaps every three to four weeks. C especially enjoyed it as he doesn’t get out so much.”

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The Visionaries 

Creating hands-on outdoor learning space for children

The Visionaries help children, young people and educators to connect with nature. Whilst open to all, they focus on supporting young and marginalised people and those facing challenging transitions. The social enterprise is based at School 360 in Stratford, east London, near to Axis’ head office.

The Axis Foundation agreed to donate £9,500 towards buying raised beds and 50 fruit trees to help with the rewilding of School 360’s outdoor space. The overall scheme will serve as a hands-on, learning space fostering environmental consciousness and creating stronger connections to nature.

“Thank you so much. This will make a huge difference to the project. We are re-imagining the school’s grounds, to enhance the school community’s nature connectedness. This funding will contribute towards the rewilding of the school’s outdoor spaces, creating a dynamic environment that brings people together, improves community well-being, and supports the potential of the students”  – Thanking the Foundation, Max Girardeau, Director

More about The Visionaries Education CIC

The Visionaries is a not-for-profit social enterprise. They partner with schools, universities and other educational institutions to produce transformative nature-based programmes and adapt their learning environments to be more ‘nature connected’.  Through participating in their programmes, youths and adults report discovering a greater sense of purpose and belonging, feeling more hopeful and more equipped to create the future we know we need to live sustainably on the planet.

More here

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Helping a Little Boy with Rare Genetic Disorder

Donation buys a sensory room to help Toby, a little boy with rare genetic disorder

Six-year-old Toby Conway has an incredibly rare genetic disorder called De Novo ZNF 292 syndrome. It is so rare, his doctors and consultants have never previously encountered a patient with this diagnosis. And Toby’s parents are unable to find any other parents in a similar situation to share their experiences.

Toby has autistic traits, speech delay and extreme hyper mobility, His abnormal brain structure primarily affects his short-term memory (so he has some educational challenges). He is physically weak and has a high risk of epilepsy.

Despite all his challenges, Toby embraces mainstream education and loves his school. His parents told us:

“Every day, he runs into school with a huge smile on his face; it’s priceless. He is honestly the most polite, infectious and caring little boy. He is a pleasure to be around for both adults and other children. His school is amazing, and we’re hugely grateful for their support.”

The Axis Foundation Trustees awarded Toby’s school (Northgate Primary School Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire) £10,000 to create a sensory room. This will not only help Toby’s sensory processing disorder but will also benefit the 100 neuro-diverse pupils at the school.

Thanking the Foundation, Toby’s father Mark Conway said: “This donation will make such a huge difference to Toby and all other pupils at his school, both neurodiverse and neurotypical. His school do an amazing job with limited resources, and their new sensory room will create a safe space for the kids that will be invaluable. Thank you so, so much.”

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Little Stars

Providing essential baby items for disadvantaged, vulnerable families

Little Stars provides quality essentials for babies, children and pregnant women. And so they alleviate stress and financial pressures for disadvantaged, vulnerable families in Shropshire.

The Axis Foundation donated £3,175 to Little Stars’ Community Hubs Project. This donation will purchase 12 months supplies of nappies, wipes and baby toiletries.

“To receive this amazing amount of money from Axis foundation has ensured we can continue our Community Hub work, providing families with the essentials they need for their children.

“Our hub work is extremely important because we are out in the communities that are in need of this support. The money will enable us to expand our hubs as we now have the funds to be able to deliver the basic essentials that babies and young children really need. Thank you to the board for providing us with this grant” – Leanne Simcoe Founder and CEO

More on the Community Hubs Project

Little Stars created their Community Hubs Project in response to the growing demand for their services. There are currently four Little Stars community hubs, working with Early Help teams and local food banks, where families can access essential items

More about Little Stars

Little Stars helps the 26% of children living in poverty across Shropshire (research from End Child Poverty). They help disadvantaged families through their baby bank, community hubs and school uniform services. They provide quality pre-loved bundles, donated by the local community, supplemented by new equipment and basic provisions. Little Stars works across their community in partnership with midwives, social workers, early help teams, schools, food banks, and domestic abuse charities. They have, to date, supported over 1,000 referred beneficiaries.

There’s more here www.littlestarscharity.org

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Hug-a-Bug World (HBW)

Positive emotional wellbeing for young people

Positive, relatable storylines in books; “I am Unique, “I am Brave” and “I Can Do It” affirmation hearts and tactile toys: these all help the emotional development of Hug-a-Bug World’s Early Years and young children. Setting the tone are adorable bugs Sedric Snail, Bella Bee and friends who support one another and learn as they go.

The Axis Foundation donated £15,000 to HBW to provide books, affirmation hearts and toys. And we will be working with them to reach children and families in areas where Axis, our parent property services company, works.

“At a time where Mental Health challenges in our younger generations is finally getting some attention in the media, we at HBW are forever grateful to the Axis Foundation for making it possible for us to engage with thousands of children, through their generous donation” – Julia Keys, Founder

More about Hug-a-Bug World

The HBW programme promotes positive emotional wellbeing for young people. This is proven to have a beneficial effect on academic focus, building good relationships, and development of empathy and understanding of each other and the natural world.

Hug-a-Bug World is currently working with 30 schools in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London. They have also worked closely with the Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) programme in multiple UK locations. All children (10,000 +) take home a storybook, a Hug-a-Bug heart and activity sheets. They demonstrably increase their self-confidence, empathy, self-worth, resilience, and acceptance of themselves.

The Chairman of the Axis Foundation Trustees, Peter Varney, was very impressed by the good feedback from Birmingham HAF. So he engaged Hug-a-Bug World to deliver their HAF programme via Millwalls’ Community Fund – with similarly successful results.

See more about Hug-a-Bug’s amazing work here

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Disability

Disabled Sailors Association (DSA)

Spirit of Axis brings joy to disabled people

Our donation of £10,000 helps Disabled Sailors Association (DSA) purchase new state-of-the-art dinghy. And she is named after us!

The Axis Foundation is very proud of Spirit of Axis. She was launched in 2024 and joins the fleet of unique craft that have been specially adapted by DSA so that disabled people can experience the joys of sailing.

You can see the Spirit of Axis in action here!

“We are very grateful to the Axis Foundation for their very generous grant, enabling us to build another innovative dinghy to replace and increase our fleet. Thanks to the generosity of charitable foundations like the Axis Foundation we have now funded seventeen new dinghies that cannot capsize or sink, due to their unique foam-filled hulls” – Mike Wood MBE, Chairman and Founder

More about Disabled Sailors Association

Unique in the sailing world the Disabled Sailors Association (DSA) helps disabled people enjoy the benefits of sailing in a unique fleet of specially-designed yachts and dinghies. 25 years of research and development have enabled them to innovate a state-of-the-art dinghy design, which caters for all disabilities and is equally appealing to able-bodied carers and family members.

Over 40,000 people have sailed the yachts since the charity was founded in 1993. So the DSA needs to replace craft to maintain safety compliance and increase their fleet so even more disabled people can enjoy the sport of sailing from Port Solent Marina Office, Lock Approach, Portsmouth.

There is more about DSA here.

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St Ambrose Barlow Church

Providing warmth and comfort

The Café at St Ambrose Barlow Church provides a safe and warm space for local people. Here they can enjoy complimentary meals and refreshment, a sense of community and belonging, as well as crafts and activities.

The Axis Foundation donated £1,000 so that Saint Ambrose Barlow Church could purchase 60 Warm Packs to keep their guests keep warm this winter (2023).

“The grant from the Axis Foundation has allowed us to provide 60 warm packs in the space of two weeks to all in our community who asked for one. From young families, to people who lived on their own and the elderly, everyone went home thrilled with their bag of goodies – a cosy warm blanket, a hot water bottle, a travel cup, a hat, scarf and gloves so they would be warm in and outside of the home!” – Hayley Haughton, Community Engagement and Support Worker

“I was thrilled to get my warm pack, I am going to use the hot water bottle and travel cup together so i only boil the kettle once to save money and energy and then snuggle down in my blanket with my knitting!” – Recipient

More about the café at St Ambrose Barlow Church

The community café at St Ambrose Barlow Church is a lifeline for some people who have fallen through the cracks of the social welfare system; are struggling with the cost of living crisis or who are seeking a safe space to meet others and combat isolation. Located in the Parish Hall, the Community Café aims to reduce the impact of poverty and to help their guests maximise their income. They provide complimentary meals, activities and signposting for additional support to over 50 people a week and also recently distributed warm packs to 30 families.

There’s more here

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Donations

Adult Training Network

Resourcing Digital Learning for disadvantaged people

Adult Training Network (ATN) provides education, training and employability skills to disadvantaged people. Many are referred to the charity by their local Job Centre.

The Axis Foundation donated £2,500 so ATN could purchase an interactive whiteboard to facilitate digital learning at their Training Centre in Southall, west London.

“The interactive whiteboard will be a valuable addition to our digital resources and will supplement and enhance the learning experience of disadvantaged learners” –  Sarjeet Singh Gill, Managing Director

More about ATN

Adult Training Network Limited was founded in 1999 to help the most disadvantaged members of the community access mainstream education. The charity unlocks marginalised learners’ potential for employment and social connection through education, training, employability support and links to job opportunities. They offer a wide range of in-person and online accredited courses as well as vocational qualifications and apprenticeships.

ATN’s BAME, migrant and refugee learners (many of whom have South-Asian backgrounds and/or are from Syria or Ukraine) hail from highly deprived wards and have low English, literacy and numeracy levels.

There’s more here

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Cherry Orchard Garden Services (COGS)

COGS’ Grow-Cook-Eat project helps adults with learning disabilities gain skills and independence

The Axis Foundation donated £1,000 to help COGS purchase ingredients for their Grow-Cook-Eat project. The programme teaches learners how to cook simple, easy meals that they can replicate at home. They can use fruit and vegetables they have grown on-site at COGS. These make a healthy alternative to microwaved ready meals. Learning how to cook and eat healthily brings many long-term benefits to learners – and their carers and families too. We estimate that around 17 people on this programme will benefit directly from our donation.

“We are so grateful to The Axis Foundation for generously donating towards our Grow-Cook-Eat project. Cooking is one of the most valuable skills our service users can learn. By helping us purchase additional ingredients to enhance their home-grown fruit and vegetables, the Axis Foundation is contributing to many life-changing outcomes. It enables our service users to learn a whole spectrum of skills which all contribute to them living an independent lifestyle as they grow themselves. Thank you!” –  Beckie Flynn, Treasurer

Two service tell us how Grow-Cook-Eat project benefits them!

“It helps me because I can now make my own sandwiches, go into a shop and recognise ingredients and have new ideas to try to do myself at home’”- Tom

“It has helped by teaching me new things to cook. It teaches me to cook on my own and grow some vegetables I can make into meals” – George

More about COGS

COGS Prepares 4 Life CIO provides day opportunities for adults with learning disabilities, autism and other complex needs in Burntwood, Staffordshire, and surrounding areas. Through gardening, cooking, woodwork, travel training and basic education, COGS’ members gain new skills, find friendships and embrace the confidence and independence needed for everyday life. There’s more about COGS here

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