In this blog post I am planning to delve more deeply into the mission of Tang Hall SMART, talk a bit about where its main work lies, and then explain where the work of our charity Tang Hall Employment begins.
Tang Hall SMART has a focus on a) engagement, b) education, and c) training, using mainly music, art, drama, dance, and sport.
The engagement side is massively important. Firstly, and looking at the strand of our work that supports people who have been homeless, we spend a great deal of time working on early-access work, and have a staff member (Lucy) who provides outreach work every Wednesday in the homeless-hostels in York, and a team (Sue, Becky, Lucy, Graham) who meet with people who would like to attend at some point but need their confidence and health building up first.
We are very patient, and will spend a year or more supporting people who are at this stage.
A completely different way that we focus on engagement can be seen at all the community clubs, and the events we deliver. Our previous blog post explored our community clubs and how vital they are. Our concerts are another powerful way of engaging with the community, and of reaching beyond the students/trainees/participants who attend regularly, to their families, so that they too become part of our community. Just in the last few weeks, we had our fabulous Christmas Concert with the biggest audience we have seen for years to watch a spendid evening of music, drama and dance performed by some of our regular students, but with the majority featuring our new students. This was followed by our first ever in-house disco/party with live music provided by our students, and DJ Partridge on the decks, and next Wednesday 20th - we host the last 'Music in the Cafe' of the year. Everyone is invited.
This year at Tang Hall SMART, we are running some free sessions over the holiday for the community. Whether you are an adult participant/student/parent/staff member - we are offering the chance to come in for a chat/have a phone conversation/join a music or art session at times spread over the 3 weeks break. Please email email@example.com if you would like a copy of the full schedule. We are advertising these on our Facebook page too.
Moving on .... our education and training probably don't need a great deal of explanation. But in case you are new to Tang Hall SMART, we run a variety of post16 Level 1,2, and 3 educational programmes, provide training for Supported Interns, and bespoke placements for adults with additional needs. We also run 'Kickstart' our excellent programme for people who have experienced homelessness and who want to get back into work.
Back to the concert: At the back of the hall were a range of lovely decorative items and cards, made by our students, and available for purchasing. And the proceeds from this, together with any donations made, went to Tang Hall Employment, which is the name of the charity we set up earlier in the year to provide supported paid employment to people who have trained/educated with us, and are ready for the next stage in their lives. The quotations in the images above from some of the people who have benefited by the support of the charity, demonstrate how impactful it has been. Please have a look at the charity's website if you have the time.
We are eager to keep the inspirational work of the charity going into next year and beyond, and would welcome donations for the charity, whether as a one-off donation, a monthly direct debit, or perhaps by purchasing one of the lovingly crafted paper-bead necklaces (£5 each - such a bargain) or a 5-pack of handmade christmas cards, which will be on sale at our Music in the Cafe event on the 20th December. Donations can be made directly via paypal via the charity's website. I know that times are very hard indeed however, and that people are finding their finances are having to spread very thinly - so please forgive me for mentioning yet another good cause when I am sure you will have other priorities, but if you are able to donate to the charity, that would be brilliant. Tang Hall Employment relies on grant funding and donations for its survival - and donations can be made via the paypal button at the bottom of the home page of the charity's website https://www.tanghallemployment.com/
Finally, I wanted to thank everyone for the support you have given us this year - whether it is through attending an event, showing us some appreciation on Facebook, or though being one of our regular 150 participants, I send you my warmest wishes, and hope that you have the loveliest of times at Christmas, and a very happy new year.