On May 4th, James Shone and our 'I Can & I Am' team rowed from Devon to Pembrokeshire to raise funds for the running of our double decker bus.
We were due to row across the English Channel however, due to the unprecedented ‘chaos’ in the English Channel, the French authorities were unable to issue the necessary permissions for us to cross in a small rowing boat. Therefore, we rowed the longer, tougher distance from Devon to Pembrokeshire, departing Ilfracombe at 7am on Wednesday 4th May and arriving 10 hours later at The Mumbles. With challenging tides (the Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range in the world) this was a much harder row than planned, however the team trained really hard and rose to the challenge. The row itself provided the full range of emotions we’d been warned to expect - apprehension, excitement, exhilaration, fatigue, reflection, boredom, elation and many more. While all shattered by the end, we’d all learnt a lot about ourselves, the value of preparation and most importantly teamwork.
Our bus has had a wonderful pilot year, inspiring self-belief in over 3,500 people who have spent time on board and it's dependent on the generosity of our donors to keep it going. Wherever we go, it feels like we are addressing a very real need as young people continue to face unprecedented mental health challenges. These are some of the results from our ‘Pilot Year’:
Take a look at this 2 minute clip of the bus in action.
- 3,500 young people (aged from 6-25) have taken part in sessions on the bus
- Our average rating from visitors is 4.7 / 5
- 200 teachers have taken part in workshops
- 75% of visitors report leaving the bus with higher self-belief.
As a charity, we are passionate about enabling individuals to live a fulfilling life, fuelled by self-belief. We offer tools and inspiration to move forward with a sense of purpose, primarily ‘I can achieve and I am of value’. Time on the bus provides a combination of hands on cooking (of pizza or bread) with workshops that further embed our messages. We all have a balloon of self-belief inside us; when it’s full, life tends to be good, we bounce back from setbacks, we feel we have purpose. When it’s deflated, life becomes a struggle. Our mission 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.
To enable us to continue this great work, we need to raise funds to cover the running costs of the bus. As a charity, we’ve always provided our time within state schools free of charge
with significant discounts available to independent schools when budgets are limited.
We're extraordinarily lucky to have the invaluable support of both Howdens Joinery and Boodles. If you are part of an organisation who may be able to support our bus on an ongoing basis, please do get in touch."The ‘I Can and I Am’ team leave an indelible mark on a school community. They are inspirational. Pizzas hook the children in, but what follows is profound, life-enhancing and not often found in a school curriculum. This is real learning. This is real education.”
Titus Mills, Headmaster, Port Regis School"The bus gave us the luxury of time for pupils to bake bread and also to think about their wellbeing in a really engaging space, so different from their normal day. This package, together with James's talk, was perfect. I've had a line of parents, particularly from the most vulnerable and challenging pupils, saying thank you!"
Chris Chorley, Headmaster, St Vigor & St John C Of E School
Further details can be found at www.icanandiam.com.