The George Oliver Foundation
2015/16 projects

 

In 2015-16 we funded these five projects -

  • Education project for Syrian refugee children in Northern Jordan with War Child
  • New "parent beds" for intensive care unit of Alder Hey Children's Hospital
  • Support for SeeSaw children's bereavement charity in Oxfordshire
  • Blue Elephant "Speak Out" project extended school tour and new teaching resource
  • Two new clean water pumps and associated hygiene behaviour education projects with Pump Aid

 


War Child

We have been particularly affected by the scenes of devastation and destruction that have been coming out of Syria and War Child requested a grant of £7,427 to deliver a 13 month project of life skills and psychosocial skills to refugee Syrian children living in Northern Jordan. These are children that have not only been displaced, unable to return to their homes, but they have fled fighting only to find themselves in a refugee camp environment unable to access any form of education. War Child's proposed project addresses this by enabling children to attend a 2 hour session every week, allowing children to leave the isolation of their homes and provides them with an opportunity to learn and play in a safe environment. War Child have had great success running this project elsewhere in Jordan and we hope that by funding this project, not only will we give some children greater chances in their future life, but will also give them the opportunity to be children again. We have previously supported War Child's essential work with disabled children in a school in Uganda and a two year education project

for 54 girls in Southern Iraq teaching vital literacy and numeracy skills. War Child work hard to support the world's most vulnerable children and we are proud to support their essential work.

 

 

Alder Hey Children's Hospital

 

Alder Hey Children's Charity is a charity linked to the hospital of the same name. The hospital has undergone a significant transition with the creation of a new building and new facilities, in a park setting that is a first in Europe. Alder Hey is the focal point for children's health services in the North of England, and supports hundreds of families every year. As part of the new development they are seeking to ensure as many parents as possible will be able to stay overnight with their child while they are being treated in the hospital. As parents, we sometimes struggle leaving our children for an evening, let alone the thought of leaving them when they are sick. As such, this year we made a grant of £6,000 to purchase Parent Beds, which will allow parents to stay in their children's rooms and be with them, not only during short stays, but also during longer stays. It makes them and their children more comfortable during incredibly stressful periods and allows parents to remain with their children at all times.

 


SeeSaw grief support for children and young people

 

SeeSaw is Oxfordshire's child bereavement charity. We became aware of this charity after the sad death of a close friend of ours and were pleased not only that they made an application to us, but also that we were able to support their project. See Saw have been working with children and young people in Oxfordshire since 2000. They provide a pioneering service in working with families when a parent is dying as well as providing support to bereaved children in all circumstances following a death of a family member. They provide counselling and support, out of school hours, and at home for as long as needed. Our funding was for SeeSaw's Volunteer Support Works Project to ensure that children are supported, at home, as much as they need. This important work tries to ensure that children and young people are equipped with the tools they need to deal with the emotional, psychological and mental health problems that can arise following a childhood bereavement. We know from our own experience how difficult it is to cope with the death of a family member and how valuable someone who can listen and support can be. Our donation goes towards ensuring the county wide support service to around 500 children continues and that children can look towards the future with hope.

 


Blue Elephant "Speak Out" project

 

2015 was our third year of supporting Blue Elephant and the excellent work they do with children and young people in South London. Blue Elephant work with local young people to develop interactive performances that tackle the big issues they are facing every day. Every time we have seen a project that we have supported with Blue Elephant, we have been blown away by the work that is put on and the young people that participate. The effect on the audience and the consideration of relevant and important topics by young audience members is also inspiring to see. We were able to show this to our supporters when one of the previous participants (Solomon) spoke movingly at our Foundation fundraiser in 2015 about his experiences with Blue Elephant. We provided funding of £7,450.00 to continue this work. The ambitious new piece of work toured local schools and to assist young people in being able to develop an understanding of their emotional and mental well-being through a series of direct workshops, as well as group mentoring and one to one mentoring. An additional goal was to develop and deliver a new visual emotional "dictionary" to act as a resource to schools to assist children in addressing emotional issues, removing the stigma of discussing mental health issues as well as providing "sign-posting" to other support services. Feedback from teachers has been unanimous that this will be an excellent resource for both their students and themselves working with them.

 


Pump Aid - clean water in Malawi

Pump Aid is a charity that was founded 20 years ago and has gone on to provide over 1.2 million people with clean water, as well as improved sanitation and hygiene education to nearly 9,000 communities. Pump Aid use "simple" pump and washer technology to provide communities in Malawi with access to clean water. Crucially they also address the whole cycle of water use - by  addressing child toilet facilities and working to implement a programme of hygiene behaviour change with care givers, parents and families. Pump Aid also work with community facilitators to spread a continual message of improving and changing hygiene behaviours resulting in a more healthy environment for children, with better nutrition through productive use of run-off water. This work all combines to improve health, reduce the spread of water borne diseases, improve nutrition and sanitation and generally create a better living environment for all. A simple idea, but a very good one and one that we are happy to back with £7,000 which allows for two complete projects to be run.