As part of our regular ‘Charity Spotlight’ series we talk to David Simmons, Co-Director of Changing Lives Community Services – a Non-Profit Community Interest Company focused on increasing physical activity and preventing children becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and gang activity.
If you would like to take part in a Charity Spotlight and showcase your charity, get in touch now.
Q1. What does your charity do?
We believe everyone has the right to grow into the best version of themselves they can be and sometimes this requires some nurturing in the right environment. We love seeing the potential in every child become a realisation.
- We run Youth engagement centres (School mini-bus collection & drop-off service)
- Half-Term multi sports and activity camps for primary/secondary students
- Primary & Secondary School Inclusion & mentor staffing
- Social, Industry & Elite pathway opportunities towards a brighter future
- We offer care packages to vulnerable families
- Run the only Migrant Football team in the UK, currently playing in the Harlow Division 2
Q2. What is your role within the charity?
I am the Co-Director organising staff, funding, risk assessments etc.
I also teach P.E in a primary school so super busy!
Q3. What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Putting smiles on people’s faces!
Being able to offer free workshops for struggling families and giving them opportunities and the chance to change their future!
Q4. Where can people find out more about your charity?
Q5. How has your charity been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have done extremely well supporting over 1000 children. Running a 6-week summer camp funded by Essex County Council and Active Essex. Children were provided with free food and sports workshops.
We have also delivered over 822 kg of food (that’s heavier than a giraffe!) which is the equivalent to 1,957 meals.
Q6. Are you still providing all of your services? Have you had to adapt any?
We are providing all services including more Zoom sessions. We are currently running sports activities for a charity called ‘Upwards with Downs’. Upwards with Downs is a registered charity based in Harlow. They support adults and children with Down’s Syndrome and their families.
We have also done Fitness Videos on YouTube – ‘Coach David’ has received over 9,365 views since starting it in April 2020. We have also provided lockdown recipes to cook by ‘Community Embrace’ and wellbeing sessions by ‘Roots to Wellbeing’.
It is important to work with partners during this time. Working with each other and supporting other local groups is so important and can help more people within the community.
Q7. Are you currently fundraising or holding virtual events/activities?
Q8. Do you have any tips for charities who are struggling with the pressures of COVID-19?
Q9. How can the public help you right now?
The next big plan is for us to move into the Town Centre of Harlow. We want to create the ‘Changing Lives’ Hub that supports families, people, children and wider community through sports, wellbeing, educational sessions and so on.
To support this if the public can donate via the link or send in any positive comments of how much a community hub will make a difference in the area, this would be great appreciated.
Please email team@ChangingLivesCommunityServices.com
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