Grant for South Wiltshire circus groups to restart sessions

Grant for South Wiltshire circus groups to restart sessions

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 12:40pm 29th July 2020.

3 minute read

The Buzz Action Foundation has been given cash to help with their activities in Salisbury, Amesbury and Ludgershall, aimed at boosting self-esteem in young people.

The group's got £2,000 of support from the Wiltshire Community Foundation to keep them going after lockdown.

They haven't been able to meet for their community circus skills lessons and youth cafes while the Covid-19 crisis has been around, but they're now able to slowly start meeting once again.

Buzz Action Foundation Salisbury Community Circus Wiltshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund Grant July 2020
The group gives 11 to 19 year olds a chance to try circus skills to build their confidence and self-esteem (photo from sessions before lockdown)

Co-ordinator Jonathan Russell, better known locally as Jonathan the Jester, says they've been trying their best to stay connected with each other:

"A lot of them have struggled. We have kept in touch with Zoom meetings because some of them have needed a lot of support. Being separated from friends and not being able to go to school hurt an awful lot of them. Being stuck indoors was difficult.

"The circus owns some really glamourous kit like aerial rigs, crazy bikes, hula hoops and tightrope wires. I would go round to their house and set them up - low in the case of the aerial rigs and the tightropes - and demonstrate how to use them.

"The young people really appreciated having a goal to focus on, it gave them some self-esteem because they were sending us videos of them using it. We rotated the equipment, so they kept it for a few days and really made the most of it."

Buzz Action Foundation Salisbury Community Circus Wiltshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund Grant July 2020
The group runs sessions in Salisbury, Amesbury and Ludgershall, going out to events across the region too

SOCIAL DISTANCING IN PLACE

As the Community Circus sessions get restarted there's been a few changes to make sure it's safe for the young people to attend.

Groups have been meeting on the green outside the Hampton Park Pavilion on Bishopdown Farm, with equipment laid out with plenty of space, and hand sanitisers available.

They're also planning a meet-up at Collier skatepark in Amesbury next week for a barbecue and litter pick.

Fiona Oliver, the interim co-chief executive of Wiltshire Community Foundation, said: 

"The story of brilliant community groups suffering a devastating drop in income at exactly the time they are being asked to meet rising demand for their help is one we've heard right across the county. We are so pleased to be able to fund this kind of work and to see it having such a dynamic impact on people."

The Fund remains open for donations and has so far given more than £700,000 to more than 170 groups around the county. 

You can find out more on the Wiltshire Community Foundation website.

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