MGRP has taken on various projects to help support our community. Some of the projects that we currently undertake are:
InterFaith Walk in the Hainault Forest Country Park. Encouraging residents from various faiths and community cultural groups to come together for a walk followed by a talk by community leaders during a picnic. This walk was held in collaboration with the Faith and Belief Forum and brought together the Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and the African Portuguese speaking community.
Women's Support Hub for survivors of domestic violence, female genital mutilation, gender based discrimination/violence, honour crimes, forced marriages and victims of financial/ emotional/ sexual/ psychological/ physical abuse. These wellbeing sessions delivered in collaboration with the Vagengers (CIO reg 1184202) teach emotional freedom techniques together with referrals to information and support lines available in the UK. As a bonus, we also provide free supplies such as period products and basic food packs to tackle poverty. These support hubs are safe spaces for survivors to share their experiences, health and well-being concerns and raise awareness. These hubs are created to bring the community together and understand the issues women and girls are facing and are free to anyone who would like to attend. One of the major social directives of this project is to dispel stereotypes associated with entrenched cultural practices.
Tile and Pottery workshop to foster inclusive empowerment in the visually impaired community. The objective of the workshop is to blindfold a visually sighted participant and pair them with a visually impaired volunteer so that the pair can together design exquisite pieces of art using clay medium and their senses of touch, hearing, and smell. The first workshop was held in the Summer Sightloss Festival in the Valence House Museum on 27th July 2022.
This workshop is extremely important to enable the visually sighted to connect, engage and build lasting relationships with the visually sighted in the community. 52% of the visually impaired commented that they were able to touch, feel and see things from the perspective of the visually impaired and help them methodically by devising tricks and hacks that could help the visually impaired with their independence. Amna Siddiqui, a visually sighted 10 year old was able to devise a sock on hoover technique to help her visually impaired friend find a ring that rolled off the table.
Weekly Food Clubs in Marks Gate are at the heart of social cohesion by delivering much needed hope to food insecure households. Our team of volunteers at MGRP frequently engage with food club subscribers to provide money mentoring and mental health support to vulnerable families who often report limited social cohesion and poorer social support.
One of MGRP’s key objectives is to advance equity in education, tackle poverty and financial insecurity linked with poor education in disadvantaged areas such as Marks Gate and North Chadwell Heath. MGRP has attracted a talented team of volunteers including professionals and students such as accountants, retired midwives, nurses, engineers, school work experience pupils, Michelin Star chefs and lawyers who have taken time off work to volunteer with us- it is a whole big community effort.
The objective of the free of cost GCSE and A-level Triple Science & Maths lessons (tutoring) is to create a stable foundation for these subject areas and provide encouragement, assistance and uptake with university admissions for undergraduate programs in science, engineering, technology and medicine. The lessons are coupled with the soup kitchen and clothing/book bank so that pupils who arrive hungry are first fed and their various basic needs are met before they are tutored.
Pupils from impoverished backgrounds also include refugees, asylum seekers, children of illegal immigrants, children in foster care, and/or those who have been homeless or at a risk of homelessness. MGRP has been providing them with counselling, mental health support, food/fuel vouchers, self-defence training (especially for girls), sexual health advice and careers advice. Girls who are at risk of FGM, sexual exploitation, forced marriage or honour crimes are part of a Community Based Education Program that fosters academic and extra-curricular excellence whilst thriving as an integral and dignified member of the community.
In 2021, Marks Gate Relief Project taught free GCSE Chemistry lessons to 250 pupils in Marks Gate. 65% of them arrived hungry; of these, 16 % could not afford a new school blazer and 35% had lost their calculator and other stationary supplies for which they were awaiting their parents' next UC payment to be able to afford a new one. In 2022, pupils who were tutored by MGRP said they could not experience a rich, positive home-learning environment due lack of heating at home and restricted access to fuel vouchers. In 2023, 39 of the 487 pupils tutored by MGRP so far have gone off to University while another 89 are enrolled in apprenticeship programs with degrees in engineering or teaching. 5 of the 487 pupils have enrolled in Oxford, Cambridge, Queen Mary, ICL and UCL, and have dedicated their voluntary time and effort to give back to MGRP's free tutoring lessons, soup kitchen and food bank. The tutors have lived experiences of poverty and are determined to break the cycle of generational poverty and the barriers it poses to education.
Marks Gate Cooking Clubs and Community Lunches. Community Lunches are a great way to bring the community together to learn and enjoy sustainable food practices. The objective is to support local businesses whilst growing and consuming a healthier food system. Residents are assessed for their barriers to accessing good food. They also learn how to prepare low-budget nourishing meals. All services provided are free of cost and open to all.
© All rights reserved