Approx 470 words. 2 mins to read.
This series looks at how local causes help provide support for communities, thanks to funding received from Co-op and Co-op members.
African Community School offers essential educational provision for young people and employment support for communities in Hackney, London. It was set up in 2000 by a group of parents and teachers to help address underachievement in the East London area, and was created with a vision of a city in which everyone fulfils their potential, free from poverty and social exclusion. Twenty years on, and thanks to contributions from Co-op and Co-op Members, through the Co-op Local Community Fund, ACS is on its way to achieving this mission.
Opportunity for all
Contributions from Co-op Members have helped many people in the community. A lot of them learnt about our organisation through Co-op. It doesn’t only benefit African children, but other communities, too.
We work with all members of the community, but our primary focus is on supporting children from deprived backgrounds who face a number of challenges, including social exclusion, disaffection and anti-social behaviour, all of which can severely affect their potential to progress in life.
We host flexible, affordable OCR and NCFE accredited educational and training sessions, all conducted in a safe and welcoming space. Courses and classes include CV writing and interview skills, drug awareness courses, parenting classes, educational seminars/workshops and African cultural events for families.
With the children, we see a reduction in exclusion and an increase in academic achievement. Families can work together to learn new skills, which has a very positive impact on their mental and physical health.
Bringing the community together
This year more than ever, the importance of community has been thrown into sharp focus as many families in Hackney are struggling with the emotional, physical and financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Community is so important to us. Everyone has come together to support those in need. We’ve had different volunteers from different communities assembling food parcels throughout lockdown, and Co-op donated excess food for us to distribute to families in need as well as receiving support from our Co-op Member Pioneer, Derrin Adshade.
To me, that is how community should be; it’s about supporting each other. A lot of children haven’t been attending school during lockdown, so their parents have been able to care for them better due to our services, and they were able to get something from us.
Without the support of Co-op, we would not get this food. It’s great that Co-op Members are helping those in poverty and community organisations like ours, because it can be difficult for big organisations to give assistance at grassroots level. Local support is vital.
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African Community School’s Development Manager