Not for Profit

Published: January 31, 2021 | Updated: February 1, 2021

“Life changing” project safe for five years after receiving £175k from lottery community fund

The Old School House on Gladstone Road, Boscombe.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A £175,000 award will fund a “life-changing” project delivering creative activities for people in Boscombe struggling with their health and well-being.

The Outsiders Project provides a creative outlet to help participants deal with some of the everyday issues caused by managing health problems.

They may stem from previous drug and alcohol abuse or because of mental health and other health problems.

The weekly workshops also provide a place to build up a support network and develop new skills.

The project is run by a partnership between community development trust Recreate Dorset and arts organisation, BEAF, Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe.

The new funding will support a five year creative community programme and employ a new Project Coordinator.

The Project Co-ordinator will be managing a programme of workshops, mentoring and training from the community hub, The Old School House on Gladstone Road, Boscombe.

Founded by award-winning writer and dramatist Nell Leyshon in 2019, the vision is to show that people side-lined from society can write, perform and create work at the highest level.

The new funding will allow more workshops to be offered, both during the day and the evening.

It gives security for the project for the five years so people signing up can benefit from the long term investment that has been provided from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Despite the pandemic, The Outsiders Project has provided a lifeline during lockdown, continuing to support those in most need who have become isolated and unable to leave their homes.

Nell said: “We support the outsider community to push boundaries to prove they can create work of outstanding quality and worth.

“We are overjoyed to receive this funding.

“The project is life-changing and we can make a real difference in our community.

“The members of the project are completely thrilled that our work can continue to grow and transform.”

Interim support from The National Lottery Community Fund and Arts Council England has meant the workshops have gone online.

A result of the workshops is an exhibition of writing and images on Boscombe Precinct, in the old T J Hughes building, now a temporary space for BEAF and renamed B.A.D., Boscombe Arts Depot.

Carol Maund, Director at Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe festival says, “This is really exciting news and we are extremely grateful as this funding will make a real step change in the work we can do with our community in Boscombe.

“This is the first time we have had long term funding for this vital project, and means we can make an even greater impact in the area.”

The Outsiders Project will be part of BEAF festival, taking place from May 29 to June 6.