Kerry Amory, our Social Value Coordinator at IM Properties, talks to one of the volunteers at Birmingham charity, Urban Devotion, to hear about the difference they’re making in transforming local communities.
One of the benefits of delivering grants from the Peddimore Community to grassroots organisations like Urban Devotion is that you get to find out more about them and hear of the great work they’re doing, which doesn’t come across fully on an application form.
We caught up with, Ruth Harrington, from the Birmingham based charity just before the end of last year, who works with Urban Devotion as part of its community team, to hear more about where the money has gone, and the day-to-day workings of the charity founded in 2003.
Ruth told us about a community football project our grant helped fund, which attracted 25 young people each week, some of which were known to the police and vulnerable to gang and crime involvement and was designed to encourage them to engage in a healthy sports-based activity.
The grant for £1000 was spent on employing a member of staff and supporting two volunteers to help deliver the sessions. Sadly due to Covid the project in its present form had to go on hold for the time being, yet the work that Urban Devotion is doing has become ever more critical as it works with some of the most deprived communities in the city.
During the lockdowns, the charity has been busy ensuring families get at least one decent hot meal a week through their Family Feast Takeaways and during Christmas delivering some festive cheer to them.
What’s comes across strongly when speaking to Ruth is the emphasis on Urban Devotion seeking to get alongside people, ‘seeing the gold in everyone’ as they say and not looking to judge or be their saviours, but to offer support to help transform their lives.
Through their coaching and mentoring programmes, they help young people to see the value in themselves. Of course, much of this has had to go online during the pandemic, yet still, they work hard to find innovative ways to connect in a socially distanced way, such as through their open gaming tournaments, with an opportunity to chat and play.
I’m constantly amazed by the ingenuity and creativity of the organisations we support and the dedication of their teams to keep pushing forward during such challenging times. Urban Devotion has built up respect within the community and the team are recognised and accepted by the young people and families as a friendly face and positive force to help them overcome obstacles in one of the cities most deprived neighbourhoods.
We hope to work with Urban Devotion again in the future, but in the meantime, if you’re interested in getting involved visit https://www.urbandevotion.org/why.
To apply for a grant from the Peddimore Fund visit https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/peddimore-community-fund/