The Dery Foundation
Posted: Fri, 23 Dec 2016 14:26 by Adeel Khan
The Dery Foundation has been running for 4 years consisting of 8 staff based in Small Heath. The foundation works with people from all backgrounds within the local area but especially in helping with a number of challenges faced by the Somalian Community.
There are a number of projects the Foundation run, one of these is the West Midlands Somali Restorative Justice Service which brings together those affected by crime including offenders to make a positive move forward. Left Behind is also another project the foundation are passionate about which works with parents and young people to highlight the dangers of extremism and radicalisation associated with cases of young people leaving the country to join conflicts in Syria and Somalia with extremist groups such as Al-Shabaab and ISIS. The Restorative Justice is a 12 month project, funded by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. The Dery Foundation is a recipient of this funding and will invest in the training of 6 women to upskill and deliver future conferences and facilitate sessions.
The Dery Foundation are also working in partnership with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation to deliver workshops and seminars across the Small Heath area regarding Mental Health and support with issues such as FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Due to the success of this scheme the foundation are now training a further 16 people to support and widen the delivery of the scheme to further communities and areas. Additionally, the Foundation work with the Birmingham Adult Education service and the Life Long Learning Union to teach classes in English as a Second or Other language (ESOL). An additional twelve people will be trained to support and deliver the ESOL classes.
Before Sportivate, there was no sport or physical activity provision provided by the Dery Foundation. Their work with Sporting Equals encouraged them to apply. With consultation from the young people, the Dery Foundation delivered sessions in Football and Netball. The introduction of Sportivate to the Foundation has engaged over 60 young people. The Dery Foundation run these sessions in order to prevent and reduce anti-social behaviour, as well as deter them from the threat of gang culture. They are provided so young people have activities to do in the evenings and a place to socialise with friends and members of the community. As a result the Dery Foundation have been able to strengthen their health and wellbeing services.
"Funding from Sport Birmingham (Sportivate) has helped the foundation so much. It's impact has not only reached the young people but also the organisation. We have had opportunities to work with and approach new partners. It has opened doors." - Shukri, Dery Foundation
The Challenges and Key Successes
One of the main challenges faced was gaining the trust of the young people at the start of the project. This was overcome by reassuring them to become active members of the community and society. The Dery Foundation attribute their success to their communication with the young people. The young people felt they were listened to and welcomed. Engagement was sought by keeping the sessions fun and relaxed. Additionally, the young people were rewarded for their involvement. Where possible they would be taken out for food as a group, which made them feel part of a community.
Plans for the Future
The Foundation have a new group of women and girls taking part in ESOL classes. Volleyball has been highly requested by the girls, so they are looking to deliver these sessions. In order to continue their football and netball, they will train up two boys and two girls as coaches and are currently about to start delivering their second Sportivate project for Ladies Football and
Zumba. Two people have been trained through their work with Sporting Equals to become Tennis Activators and over the summer holidays they delivered park sessions and are continuing with recreational sessions at Small Heath Park with equipment provided by the Tennis Foundation.
For more information follow the Dery Foundation on twitter @DeryFoundation