I Can & I Am is a charity passionate about enabling individuals to live a fulfilling life, fuelled by self-belief. Our bus enables our charity to spread and embed our messages to young people from all walks of life. We offer the tools and inspiration to move forward with a sense of purpose - primarily ‘I can achieve and I am of value’.
The bus has a fully fitted kitchen downstairs and casual seating upstairs. This enables a combination of hands on baking followed by small group workshops. The baking sessions involve making bread or pizza - activities that stimulate a sense of togetherness and creativity. The individual mentoring and small group sessions are run by our facilitators on the top deck of the bus. Above all, everything is underpinned by fun, positivity, empathy and passion for what we do. We are experienced and empathetic professionals who understand young people and how life can sometimes be difficult. Therefore, the emphasis is always on finding ways to move forward positively. Take a look at this 2 minute clip of the bus in action.
Our messages are rooted in simplicity. Everyone has a balloon of self-belief inside them. When it’s full, life tends to be good, we bounce back from setbacks, and we feel like we have purpose. When it’s deflated, however, life becomes a struggle, things we may have once found easy become difficult, and it becomes hard to find hope. Our mission at I Can & I Am is to enable those we work with to recognise their own balloon, and give them the tools to keep it inflated. The strength of this message is that it’s simple.
I Can & I Am was set up in 2015 by James Shone, a gifted pastoral teacher whose career was abruptly ended by a brain tumour in 2012. The resulting surgery and two strokes left him blind and with much reduced physical capabilities. After a couple of years convalescence, James realised that his passion for seeing young people fulfil their potential was still burning. He started delivering talks in schools, based around his own challenges but with the underlying message that we all have qualities within us that will allow us to flourish in life. He now visits hundreds of schools every year, sharing his messages with pupils, parents and staff to great acclaim.
We have been so touched by the many stories of mental health challenge that we've heard over the past year during our work with schools. Our new double decker is enabling us to visit schools that need us most to spend time with individuals and small groups embedding our messages on how to avoid poor mental health by keeping balloons of self-belief inflated.
And now we just need to keep the fund raising going to help pay for the many running costs of the bus. Our mission as a charity has always been to offer our time within state schools free of charge. Your donation will enable us to maintain this model and to help those young people who need our help most. Further details can be found at www.icanandiam.com.