Lottery cash for Outsider project

BOSCOMBE-based The Outsiders Project has been awarded £175,000 to deliver creative activities for local people who are struggling with their health and well-being.

The Outsiders Project provides a creative outlet to help participants deal with some of the everyday issues caused by managing health problems, which may stem from previous drug and alcohol abuse or because of mental health and other health problems. Their weekly workshops also provide a place to build up a support network and develop new skills.

The project is run by a partnership between community development trust Recreate Dorset and BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe). The funding will support a five year creative community programme, allowing more workshops to be offered during the day and the evening.

It will employ a project coordinator who will be managing a programme of workshops, mentoring and training from the community hub, The Old School House on Gladstone Road, Boscombe. The funding gives security for five years so people signing up can benefit from the long term investment that the lottery funding offers.

Founded by award-winning writer and dramatist Nell Leyshon in 2019, the project’s vision is to show that people sidelined from society can write, perform and create work at the highest level.

The Outsiders Project has provided a lifeline during lockdown, continuing to support those in most need who have become isolated and unable to leave their homes.

Nell Leyshon says: “The project is life changing and we can make a real difference in our community. The members of the project are completely thrilled that our work can continue to grow and transform.”

Carol Maund, the director of Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe festival says: “This funding will make a real step change in the work we can do with our community in Boscombe. This is the first time we have had long term funding for this vital project, and means we can make an even greater impact in the area.”

The Outsiders Project will be part of this year’s BEAF festival, which will run from 29th May to 6th June.

Pictured: Nell Leyshon working with two members of The Outsider Project.