Advertisement Feature with the Aviva Community Fund
Last week I was fortunate to spend the morning in a local school learning about Dictionaries 4 Life, a Rotary Club initiative that has benefited from funding from the Aviva Community Fund. I enjoyed finding out more about the project, chatting to the Rotary Club volunteers, school staff and pupils and seeing the difference that the funding has made to this cause.
About the Aviva Community Fund
If you’ve not heard of the Aviva Community Fund, let me first explain a little about it. It supports and celebrates groups that make a big difference, helping them to build stronger communities together.
The fund works alongside the groups to help them think bigger, move forward and future proof themselves for whatever tomorrow may bring.
It is now in its fourth year and offers support, practical advice and funding from £1,000 up to £25,000, to help as many people as they possibly can to make a lasting difference and bring communities together. Every year, worthy groups and causes apply for funding, the voting then opens and those with the most votes become finalists, which are reviewed by a judging panel. Since it began, there has been more than 15,000 entrants and more than 2,000 award winners who have benefited from funding so that they can continue the great work they do in their local communities.
This year, more than 550 award winners have just been awarded their funding.
Beyond simply the funding, Aviva offers wider support; with an array of educational content hosted on the Aviva Community Fund website and a dedicated Facebook community group that provides tools to help with fundraising etc. all year round.
I was keen to find out more about what was happening in my area, which led me to my visit to a primary school.
AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND funding for the Dictionary 4 Life Project
I visited Penns Primary School in Wylde Green and spent some time with the Rotary Club volunteers, the school’s deputy head, and Year 6 children, chatting about what this project is all about and the difference that the Aviva Community Fund has made.
The Dictionaries 4 Life Project is a nationwide Rotary Club initiative that a selection of clubs are working on. The Wylde Green Rotary Club has been running this for twelve years now, working with four primary schools, and for the last three years it has benefitted from Aviva funding.
Now, you know how passionate I am about literacy and the importance of children developing a love of reading and the written word early on in their lives, so this visit was an absolute joy to me. It was great to see the children talking about how much they use their dictionaries and even enjoy doing so. They are used regularly and are making a real difference.
They tend to be gifted to each pupil at the start of Year 6 so that the children can use them throughout the year in school and for their homework. It was also interesting to hear from the pupils with older siblings who have now moved on to secondary school and continue to use their dictionaries for their work.
They are beautiful dictionaries, they look fun as well as easy and accessible. The children were sharing how they use them for their projects across several areas including history and science, as well as their literacy lessons. One Year 6 pupil was telling me that he writes down any spellings that he gets wrong in his tests and then uses his dictionary to look them up to check the spelling and meaning again, in a bid to get it right next time. This shows the benefit of the resources and how they are helping pupils to develop educationally.
The difference that AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND funding makes
I asked Arthur who heads up this project for the Wylde Green group what difference the funding has made to them. He told me that to raise the £1,000 that they are received from the Aviva Community Fund, it would have taken them five to six days with several volunteers standing outside shops in the cold weather with their collection buckets. Of course, it also means that their time can be channelled into supporting even more good causes in the area.
As you can no doubt tell, I really enjoyed meeting the team from the Rotary Club and chatting to the children. I can see how the Aviva Community Fund and groups like this are building stronger communities together, and it was interesting to find out more about initiatives such as this going on in areas all around the country.
You can find out more about the Aviva Community Fund are working to build more resilient communities here. Do take a look to find out which groups in your local area have won on https://at.aviva.uk/celebrate, and if you know of a local group that might benefit from this you can start preparing submissions ready for next year’s voting.
Do you have a group in your area which should enter the Aviva Community Fund 2019?