Commonwealth Professional Fellowship 2016 – 2017
Olayinka Suleiman was a Commonwealth Professional Fellow from October 2016 to January 2017. She works on Youth and Sports development were sporting activities are used to enhance the potentials of young people in other to transform their lives. The three months spent with Lifegate Communities gave her an opportunity to learn best practices from United Kingdom based organisations. Among the organisations she learnt from was West Midlands Open College where she got an award in Entrepreneurship and Diaspora Management. Skills gained will be applied in her daily work with young people and organisation thereby maximising their potentials optimally.
She has also been featured in a LinkedIn change maker story which you can find here; African ChangeMaker
BBC CHILDREN IN NEED SUMMER PROGRAMME AUGUST 2017
Lifegate Communities with sponsorship from BBC Children in Need, had a Summer Fun Event with Children and Young people who may be experiencing some form of disadvantage through; Illness, abuse or neglect, disability of all kinds, behavioural or psychological difficulties and living in poverty or situations of deprivation.
The summer fun event helped made a difference in children’s lives by protecting, preventing or overcoming the effects of these disadvantages with the grant award. We believe strongly that the Children benefited from the program. They had an amazing-fun-time, team-working-mindset, cross culturally interactively socialised with others from other ethnic backgrounds and races. This made them have new friends as well as gave them opportunity to explore their skill sets and express themselves in ways they deemed fit.
This was implemented by a project co-ordinator, two facilitators and eleven volunteers. Team members were creative, enthusiastic and flexible in accepting different roles that enhanced team effectiveness at the summer programme. As part of the practices of Lifegate Communities, safe guarding measures were put in place at the venue to ensure that children were safe to participate at the daily activities which were devoid of incidences or accidents.
Parents/guardians consent were sought before pictures of their children or wards could be taken at the events and used for activities related to Lifegate Communities only.
During the event, a total of 42 children were registered via our online registration - of them 18 males and 24 females consisting of children with origins from the UK, the Caribbean, Africa, mainland Europe and India. Much of our children were between the ages of 6 and 10 with them accounting for around 85% of those signed up. The oldest child registered was 14 years old. Of the 42 children registered, 2 were described by their parents as having disabilities: one with minor learning difficulties and one with minor autism. Although much of the group of children were mainly not affected by disability or visibly enduring any difficulties, the group was full of individuals - all with different skills, interests and backgrounds and getting them to integrate as well as engage in the interests was a challenge all were willing to undertake.
The children had a successful day out to the Hollywood Bowling with every child safely being transported to and from the venue with no issues. Every child enjoyed their games of bowling where the volunteers assisted as well as guided the children perfectly. Refreshments were provided by the venue as part of the package and the children also enjoyed the food.
Safety precautions were well adhered to by all children and team members - especially with the lure of the arcade games on the lower floor.
Most children integrated well into the activities; some required some guidance for their behaviour related to sharing, behaviour and being considerate to others, however, in the grand scheme of things, no child gave any of the staff cause for concern in any way.
Meals and refreshments were given to the children at the summer programme daily for free at no cost of theirs. These were provided taken into consideration the dietary needs of each child as indicated on the online registration form by their parents or carers.
Family Fun Day BBQ 2017
The summer programme ended with a family fun day BBQ on Saturday 26 August 2017 with many members of our communities comprising of children, young people, and parents in attendance. Bouncy castles, ice cream and slush machines were available for the children to play with as well as a table tennis for adults. Arts and craft sessions were also held for the children who made various artistic works that were displayed for everyone present. Various meals were displayed for everyone to make their preferences with music that entertained the crowd. It was an opportunity for the children to socialise with other children they had met during the summer programme as well as for parents to interact with others in our communities.
Christmas Meal 2018
Lifegate Communities in collaboration with Nissi Homes has been organising Christmas meals for the needy and homeless in Walsall for the past three years. The last event took place on 21 December 2018 at the outreach hall of Lifegate Outreach Centre with the needy and homeless in our community in attendance. An International business enterprise based in Walsall has been sponsoring these events. The needy and homeless are treated with cooked Christmas meal in a very relaxed environment with Christmas songs playing at the background while they dined and wined. They are also presented with gifts of clothing items where they are made to choose these based on their preferences. It is always such a great delight as the meal could be the only cooked meal they may have for the day.