Mary’s Story 5
                                               June 2015

From Source to Sea

Ian Mylam completes his fundraising walk and connects supporters and givers with the young people who will benefit.

In our previous newsletter we featured Ian Mylam preparing for his fundraising walk along the length of the Thames.  Walk completed, tweets tweeted and feet bathed and rested, we’d like to join with Ian in thanking you for all your generous support and interest!  Through a combination of online and offline giving and sponsorship, Ian’s heroic effort has raised over £10,000 for our Youth Club – money that will be immediately ploughed back into funding our work with young people in the local community.

The twelve days of Ian’s walk were punctuated by updates on twitter and facebook, which kept his supporters in step with his progress and his insights as he travelled alongside the river we can easily take for granted.  Photographs of beautiful spring flowers and waterside pub meals assured us that Ian wasn’t suffering without reward! “Slowly watching the river grow is an amazing experience,” Ian concludes.  Just as the river flowed ever more strongly, by the final day Ian was joined by a group of fifteen friends and supporters, including two members of the youth club benefitting from his fundraising.  Torian and Aissato are regular attenders at several of Mary’s weekly sessions, and besides enjoying the walk through London themselves, they also had the chance to see how some of their activities are funded.

We’re really proud of what our community of supporters and friends have achieved in partnering with Ian and would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of Mary’s Friends.  Without fundraisers like Ian and supporters like yourselves, we could not continue the work young people are asking us to do.  As we consider the difference made by the activities and opportunities we’re able to provide, it only goes to excite us about what more is possible!

Thank you!

Featuring…
Tick-Tock

If you hear sounds of laughter, music and rhyme from Mary’s neighbourhood centre on a Wednesday or Friday as you are passing then you might be listening to Tick-Tock, the regular music group for under fives that has been using Mary’s rooms since 1992.  Gerry Mannion, Tick-Tock director, began the group after the birth of her own daughter.  “I wanted my daughter to have lots of friends to sing with”, she said.  “And the circle of friends got bigger and bigger until I wondered about running a business from it.”
Gerry knows exactly how the group helps people: “It’s great for people to sing and coming along can help stop mothers from getting too isolated after having a baby.  Lasting relationships are formed at Tick-Tock and you can’t stay down in the dumps when you’re singing.”
A typical Tick-Tock session runs for 45 minutes and sees the toddlers and their carers enjoying songs and stories, dance and comedy, encouraged to participate by acting, playing instruments or moving around!  Their long-term partnership helps us to fulfil our own vision of being a Force for Good in the Community.
Find Out More!

Youth Group Steer their Own Course 

One of the recent highlights for Mary’s Youth Club has been their day trip to Woodrow High House in Buckinghamshire.  The trip was organised by a committee formed from the young people themselves, challenged to participate in the Athan 31 Programme.  Steering themselves through the My Team stage by organising a shared meal to get to know one another better, the committee then decided to use the My Club stage to try something more ambitious.  This turned into the trip packed with outdoor activities, including an obstacle Challenge course for building teamwork and archery.
The committee were awarded funds by London Youth, but had to bid and pitch for the grant.  This aspect of supporting their own initiatives has proven to be a regular part of running their own club and provides those vital presentation and organisation skills so crucial in the workplace.
The final stage of the Athan 31 programme will be My Community, so we’re looking forward to seeing what the Youth Club decides on next!
Find Out More!

Soul in the City Goes Viral

Mary’s are very pleased to have partnered with St Mary’s Church in the recent Soul in the City Neighbourhood festival.  As a highlight, we saw a fabulous collaboration through Sean Osinlaru and Mary’s Youth Club.  Sean, who has been a member and attendee of the club for several years, led an evening workshop teaching the skills and facts of vlogging.  Everyone had the opportunity to create their own vlog episode on a subject of their choice under his expert guidance, including local young people and Gloria Naylor, Curate at St Mary’s.  After filming, he led them through editing and adding music to create some charismatic short videos that capture some of the spirit of this excellent festival!  Ashliegh, 17, said “The thing I enjoyed the most was being given the chance to record a vlog with expert advice” and others praised Sean for his step-by-step and methodical guidance.  Perhaps this is just the start of a new platform for the Youth Club?  Watch this space!
Take Me There!

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