Kome Owuasu, Managing Director
African Community School, winner of the the 2020 National Association of Black Supplementary Schools Award for Cultural Education, is an Ofsted registered training and family support organisation, offering a wide range of courses from Saturday Schools, Family Learning Programmes, ICT and Sports Activities – to Confidence building for young people, peer education and peer learning.
We have been working with families in Hackney since 2000, and now work with about 150 families a year, as well as all the adults on our education courses.
With lockdown, we had to suspend our courses. We are supporting families with multiple needs. Two days a week we deliver food parcels, for example to those who are not entitled to free school meals because they have No Recourse to Public funds. We are helping families in any way we can – with sourcing laptops for children to do school work, and with emotional support
We have a commitment to the families we work with because of the trust they have in us. For example this morning someone came in, concerned about his children – I could hear the emotion in his voice. Tomorrow I will have a meeting with the social workers, to see what I can do to resolve the situation. Another woman came in last week, she has 4 children and had run out of money, we gave her food parcels and help with her electricity. Many of our families are in temporary accommodation, we help them all we can. Adults, families, children – we keep going because we can see the changes we are making.
Because of their identification with service users, VCSE organisations will often go far beyond what they are funded to deliver. Often they work voluntarily to address needs, finding funding to support the service later.