Greater Shantallow Community Arts: 'Overcoming adversity to bring joy to our children's lives!'

Despite a number of setbacks, Greater Shantallow Community Arts as a dedicate grassroots community arts charity, has pressed ahead with a self-financed Summer programme that during July alone will see over 200 children aged 4 to 11years old eagerly participating in a range of innovative and exciting fun filled activities, including art and crafts, dance , drama and music workshops as part of week long themed summer schemes.
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Alex Duffy Youth Support Worker with GSCA outlined why the schemes had to be self-funded.

"The disappointment at the lack of funding from EA Youth Services and being turned down by the Community Foundation for NI and RTEs Children Toy Show Appeal in our requests for support for vital summer schemes that give a lifeline to children and families in our most deprived communities. Our aspiration of providing 600 children with a badly needed, life-enhancing, creative summer intervention experience has been extinguished by the fact that, despite an unsurpassed track record of delivering outstanding Arts led innovative and over subscribed hugely successful Summer schemes, we have not received a single penny of funding towards this years summers schemes.

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Undeterred, they pressed ahead and the schemes have been a huge success.

Pure joy at the Greater Shantallow Community Arts Summer Scheme.Pure joy at the Greater Shantallow Community Arts Summer Scheme.
Pure joy at the Greater Shantallow Community Arts Summer Scheme.

"We are thrilled to witness the incredible turnout for our summer scheme and the enthusiasm displayed by the children," said Ollie Green, Artistic Director of Greater Shantallow Community Arts.

"Despite the challenges brought about by budget cuts, we are committed to delivering a rewarding and memorable experience for all participants.

"As a grassroots community charity we know the real value of these vital summer programmes for our parents and families as well as the children we nurture and support, especially during this time of financial crisis and hardship being felt by so many families within our most deprived communities. I would encourage all those big funding bodies and Statutory agencies to look again at the real need within our communities and target resources to where it can reach the ground and be most effective, something unfortunately which has been seriously lacking from some of our biggest funding bodies in recent times. In these times of cutbacks and austerity, it should not be those communities at the bottom of the social ladder that should be the first to be punished,” said Mr Green.

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