Message from Sally Melvin, Ablaze CEO:

Hello from everyone at Ablaze. We hope you’ve had a good Easter break and managed to enjoy some of the lovely sunshine, even if only from your window. As we enter another three weeks of lockdown, life in the UK has already changed beyond recognition. We hope everyone is managing to navigate this uncertainty and is staying well, in mind and body, during this difficult time.

We just wanted to post an update, on what should be the start of the summer term. With schools closed and exams cancelled, it is a very stressful and uncertain time for young people. A big shout out to all our young people in Y6, Y11 and Y13 who are missing out on the rite of passage that these landmark years in their education should bring.

We are still busy at Ablaze, although the crisis has affected our normal activities and funding streams. We are working to find alternative ways of supporting young people in our community.  The team are investigating how we can continue to offer inspiration and practical support online. We are also looking at ways we can utilize the skills and commitment of our wonderful volunteers and partner businesses.

With the likelihood that our annual poetry prize giving and other celebratory events will have to be postponed, we are also thinking about ways we can celebrate our young people and our partners’ successes this year. We hope to be able to share our plans with you soon.

Like all charities we are looking at our finances and attempting to forecast where we might be at the end of this academic year. We are talking to grant-funders and contract holders about current suspended activity and how this impacts our payments. We will be contacting other partners in May/June to discuss donations and service payments for the 2020/21 academic year.  It is inevitable that we will suffer some financial losses and we are going to need the support of all our partners to recover from this. We remain hopeful that we will be able to resume our programme delivery in September.

We will post another update towards the end of May. Until then best wishes to everyone and keep smiling!