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Coventry and Warwickshire community groups get funding boost from British Science Festival

  • Eight community groups in Coventry and Warwickshire to benefit from grants of £500
  • Funding will support activities for the British Science Festival that engage traditionally underrepresented audiences
  • Held in partnership with the University of Warwick, the British Science Festival will transform Coventry and Warwickshire into a celebration of science and culture from Tuesday 10 – Friday 13 September
  • More information: https://britishsciencefestival.org/

British Science Festival 2019Eight community groups in Coventry and Warwickshire are to benefit from extra funding for activities that open up science to traditionally underrepresented groups as part of the British Science Festival held in partnership with the University of Warwick in September.

As part of its commitment to growing and diversifying the range of people interested and involved in science, the British Science Association (BSA) runs the British Science Festival Community Grants programme.

The intention of the scheme is to empower and support community groups to run their own science activities as part of the British Science Festival, in turn, enabling new local audiences to engage with science.

To this end, they are providing grants of £500 to community groups and organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire – where this year’s British Science Festival is taking place – that work directly with audiences who are traditionally underrepresented and not engaged in science activity.

This year, the grants have been awarded to eight community groups. The events will reach a variety of different audiences including people with disabilities, the West Indian community, young people with additional needs and recovering addicts across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Jane Furze, Director of Public Engagement at the University of Warwick, said: “We are proud to call Coventry and Warwickshire our home and are pleased that the BSA’s Community Grants give us the opportunity to benefit small organisations within our broader local community.

“Our aim for the British Science Festival is to showcase and share innovation from within the region at a national event and get more people engaged with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including inspiring young people. Research is not something that needs to take place behind closed doors - in many cases the general public and non-specialists are making valuable contributions to research, and we are keen to encourage that.”

Read more about each community group below:

ILEAP is a charity that runs inclusive activities for children, young people and adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities. They will be holding sessions at a garden space in The Kenilworth Centre to promote understanding around the biology of plants and nature.

Ayriss Recovery Coventry is a drug and alcohol outreach/support service that offers support to people experiencing addiction problems. They will be running a session to educate the service users on topics such as the differences that depressants and stimulants have on the body, better vein care and what happens to the body during an overdose.

West Indian Heritage Community Action works to support the needs of members of the African-Caribbean community in Coventry, running a range of cultural, social and community-based activities. For the Festival, the group will be working with a mathematician from the community who will run sessions to engage young people with the exciting world of numbers.

The Smallpeice Trust supports and inspires young people with STEM. They will be working with the home-education community, running a STEM enrichment day to ensure that children who are home educated can still access science. The day will include a hands-on design and build challenge.

Vanny Radio is a community radio station that is run almost entirely by volunteers and caters to the needs and interests of the local community. They will be running a seminar discussing the importance of science in our everyday lives and some of the issues around how science is presented by the media.

Coventry Men's Shed provides a place for men to socialise and engage with others in a space where they feel supported. Many of the group experience mental health problems, social isolation and are in recovery from substance abuse. The group will be running four cooking sessions, exploring different elements and learning more about healthy eating and cooking.

BLAST Fest is a festival that will be running ‘Caribbean Climate Change’, a series of talks by researchers and local Caribbean people about the impact of climate change. The event is being designed with the local Caribbean community.

Food Union uses food to bring communities together, to find healthier ways of producing and eating food, but also to think about and enact, community and civic identity. They will be running an event called ‘How does your garden grow’ at an allotment where participants will learn more about getting involved with the space.

Christina Fuentes Tibbitt, Engagement Manager at the British Science Association said: “We, at the British Science Association, run the Community Grant scheme as part of our commitment to growing and diversifying the community of people interested and involved in science, and I am delighted that we will be supporting these eight organisations in Coventry & Warwickshire this year. I am really looking forward to working with all of the communities involved and I hope this funding helps to enable new local audiences to engage with science.”

For more information about the work the BSA does to support and engage with community groups, please visit their Community Engagement page or follow BSA Communities on Twitter

Held in partnership with the University of Warwick, the British Science Festival will transform Coventry and Warwickshire into a celebration of science and culture from Tuesday 10 – Friday 13 September. Events have been curated to highlight the region’s strength in digital technologies, smart cities and the future of energy and healthcare. Check out the programme of 100+ events here.

Immediately following the Festival, on Saturday 14 September, the University of Warwick will be hosting an extra special Family Day. Aimed at families from Coventry and Warwickshire, especially children up to the age of 11, the event will be a jam-packed day of discovery and exploration. For more information, visit: www.warwick.ac.uk/familydays 

Ends

Notes to editors:

About the British Science Festival  

The British Science Festival is one of Europe’s largest science festivals and regularly attracts hundreds of the UK’s top scientists and speakers to discuss the latest developments in science with the public. Working in partnership with the University of Warwick and other organisations in the Coventry and Warwickshire region, the Festival will entertain an audience of non-specialist adults with a broad interest in science, delivering 100 specially curated events. Over 15,000 visitors attend the talks, workshops, performances and activities.

The Festival has been the stage for many iconic moments in history – such as the famous debate on Darwin’s controversial theory of evolution between Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford in 1860. It also saw the first use of the word ‘scientist,’ in 1834. The origins of the Festival, previously known as the annual meeting, can be traced back to York, in 1831. Since then it has travelled the globe, including visits to Montreal and Australia.

Registration is free for journalists and gets you access to all the events. The Festival takes place at a different location each year. The 2019 Festival will take place from 10 – 13 September, hosted by the University of Warwick and sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover, Cadent and Lubrizol.

29 July 2019

For more information contact:

Peter Thorley
Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics)

Email: peter.thorley@warwick.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50868

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863