SEAD funds a wide range of projects, from social-justice campaigns to grassroots economic activity.
We will periodically update this page with campaign reports.
Hundreds of pregnant women seek asylum in the UK every year, making a new life in the UK with a baby in tow. Adjusting to motherhood while cut off from their support network, dealing with after effects of violence and abuse, as well as coping with discrimination and poverty, leaves many women in a desperate situation.
The Helen Bamber Foundation set up the Happy Baby Community to give asylum seeker mothers and babies a safe place to play and access support. Another important function is empowering members to give back to the community: not only helping the group as a whole but giving confidence back to women who have lost everything. SEAD funding helped one such member, a woman from Eritrea with a two year old daughter, run a swimming group. She used the grant to cover travel and pool entry costs for up to fifteen families every week, as well as providing swimming costumes and swimming nappies. These meetups were extremely popular over this year's unusually hot summer. The group is hoping to add mum-and-baby swimming classes to their available activities over the following year
Rock music is still a male dominated industry. Girls Rock School Edinburgh (GRSE) aims to turn that around, by providing one hour weekly classes in vocals, guitar, drum and bass to self-identifying women (trans* and non-binary inclusive) aged eighteen and over.
One off songwriting, sound engineering and DJing workshops are sometimes available too. All their workshops are free to attend and are held in a wheelchair accessible space. Each class ends with a jam session with students from different classes rocking out together. At the end of term, GRSE musicians have the opportunity to play a showcase gig and realise their dreams of rock stardom on a local scale.
"A massive thank you to SEAD fund for giving us a grant towards the running of our next term! Can't wait to do more of this!!!"
J8 empowers young people to help each other on a global scale. This school-linking scheme started as a pupil-driven project at Hutcheson's Grammar School in Glasgow, when students entered a UNICEF competition to solve the world's biggest problems. The group realised that lack of education is behind many social issues both in the UK and further afield, and began reaching out to schools in Africa and Asia. J8 ask pupils in their partner schools to use their local knowledge to research how education is delivered in their area, and how it can be improved. Together, they work out an action plan, and work on fundraising, including developing products for sale.
J8 now partner with seven communities around the world, working with their international peers to find specialised solutions for local issues.
It's worth noting that SEAD funding is open to individuals as well as organisations. Suzanne is an experienced midwife and mum of four working in Midlothian, as well as a practitioner of Kundalini yoga. She dreamed of delivering classes for expectant mothers, teaching "kundalini yoga techniques and meditations to improve health in all systems of the body and help relax and reduce stress to prepare for birth and motherhood." However, the specialised yoga teacher training she needed is expensive, required her to travel to Berlin for a week, and wasn't covered by her employer.
Suzanne didn't let this get in her way: as well as reaching out to SEAD, she put away savings and did her own fundraising, including a curry night. Suzanne shared this photo of her and classmates on their final day of training. Suzanne's yoga classes will include low cost options for low income mothers, and she's going to pay-it-forward with the SEAD-grant by providing some free classes.
Stigma towards mental health and LGBT issues can particularly hurt teenagers. It can be difficult for teachers to address. A student survey at Castle Douglas High School revealed less than 50% of the pupils would feel comfortable talking to a member of staff regarding mental health troubles or expressing their sexuality or gender identity. So with the SEAD-Fund's support, Castle Douglas High School added LGBT and mental health books to their library, to provide a discreet way for pupils to access information about sexuality.
"Our LGBT friendly literature now available has helped pupils in our school have various options to learn to be comfortable with themselves. The literature is well used by our youngsters."
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The Den playpark in Aberdeenshire is already a much loved fixture in the lives of local families, but the newly formed community organisation Friends of the Den think it could be even better. They have started surveying Den users to gauge interest in play equipment geared to different ability levels and sensory needs, as well as encouraging parents to share their old favourites and what retired equipment they would like to see return.
"This is not going to be a boring AGM, because we're not a boring union!" On 13th October, Living Rent Glasgow members convened to set out their collective vision for building tenant power in the year ahead. The union aims to be accessible for as many people as possible, stating in their AGM report that food and childcare are "an integral part of enabling access for more and more members, ensuring longevity as a movement. To this aim, Living Rent Glasgow invested their SEAD grant into food, promotion and materials. As Living Rent member Joey put it in his fiery closing speech:
When Living Rent comes knocking, you better answer the door! We see you locking the doors to your fancy offices! We're here for the long haul, we've got tea and sandwiches, we're not going anywhere!
See also: 2018 Campaign Report