Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) was delighted to welcome the Minister for Sport and Civil Society and Eastleigh MP MimsDavies to an HIWCF Seeing Is Believing Visit in Eastleigh on 1st February 2019 to hear all about the work of two local charities ARK Eastleigh and CIS’ters. The visit enabled Mims Davies to meet volunteers and clients from the two organisations, both of which have received grant funding from HIWCF to support the valuable services they offer. Also present at the meeting were HIWCF Chairman Jonathan Cheshire and Chief Executive Grant Cornwell.

Mims Davies MP, Sarah Davies Office Manager, Bruce White, Team Leader at ARK Eastleigh, Julie Sisley, Senior Team Leader at ARK Eastleigh and Jeremy Sisley, ARK Eastleigh and Jonathan Cheshire, HIWCF Chairman.

ARK Eastleigh supports vulnerable and excluded people in the community through practical acts of kindness, befriending and advocacy. The group work in partnership with other local organisations to connect families and individuals with the support they need to find hope for the future. HIWCF grant funding has enabled ARK Eastleigh to recruit and train new volunteers to increase the number of people the group is able to support and to enable the team to deal with more challenging cases. Last year, ARK responded to 23 new referrals and staff and volunteers made 691 contacts with clients.

CIS’ters Talk About The Elephant In The Room – wearing the Survivors Handprints

CIS’ters: Surviving Rape and Sexual Abuse is a charity providing emotional support for women aged over 18 who have been sexually abused or exploited by a member of their immediate or extended family. In addition, CIS’ters also seeks to raise public awareness related to the existence and prevalence of all forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence. The organisation has recently been awarded a grant of £10,000 under the HIWCF Tampon Tax Community Fund to enable the organisation to host extra screenings of their 60 minute documentary on Resilience, at key venues across Hampshire, for professionals and members of the public. The funding will be used to acquire an ACEs Recovery Toolkit, which will be used by CIS’ters to deliver a targeted empowerment course for women accessing CIS’ters. The photograph above shows the Cisters elephant wearing the survivors handprints banner, showing them reaching out to each other, which aims to evoke that “Let’s talk about the elephant in the room” scenario.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive at HIWCF said “It was a pleasure to welcome Mims Davies to our Seeing Is Believing visit to demonstrate how two of the charities that we have supported are committed to helping local disadvantaged people in Eastleigh. It was also great to be able to show Mims how the grant to Cisters from the Tampon Tax Community Fund raised through the government levy on sanitary products last year is being put to vital use. HIWCF awards funds through a grants programme and last year we were able to award grants of over £1 million across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight thanks to the generosity of our fundholders and donors.”