Ipswich youth project ACYCLE 'desperate' for funding

Rosy May and the children of ACYCLE performing a dance to celebrate the end of their year in the project

Rosy May and the children of ACYCLE performing a dance to celebrate the end of their year - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Ipswich youth organisation, ACYCLE,  says they are ‘desperate’ for funding now that the money they were receiving from Ipswich Borough Council has stopped. 

The African Caribbean Youth Creative Learning Experience project (ACYCLE) was being funded by Seeds of Change - a pot of funds supplied by Ipswich Borough Council to launch projects to improve the lives of young people. But those funds run out this month. 

Franstine Jones being comforted by a boy from ACYCLE

Without funding, ACYCLE cannot continue. Pictured: Franstine Jones - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

ACYCLE, a programme for children aged 5-11 from black and dual heritage backgrounds, was set up to help children feel empowered by taking part in cultural activities and learning about their history. 

A celebratory event was held on July 20, showcasing the children’s new-found talents. But there were sad undertones to the showcase, as without funding ACYCLE cannot continue. 

Children at ACYCLE have learnt African drumming, spoken word and Jamaican patty making

Children at ACYCLE have learnt African drumming, spoken word and Jamaican patty making - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“We are trying desperately to seek funding – it’s absolutely necessary. We will not be able to survive and do this without the funding,” said Imani Sorhaindo, one of ACYCLE's directors. 


You may also want to watch:


“We’ve kept the costs very basic, but resources that reflect duality and diversity, sadly, cost a bit more. To have a range of crayons that reflect all shades of brown, rather than going to a shop and getting a few tones, costs money,” she added. 

ACYCLE has made a huge difference to children in the local community, providing activities such as African drumming, spoken word, Jamaican patty making and Yoruba language classes. 

The staff and volunteers that make up ACYCLE

The staff and volunteers that make up ACYCLE - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Most Read

Aicha Lees-Dem, 10, was at the event and explained what kinds of activities they have been taking part in.

“We’ve been doing cooking, vegetable patty making from Jamaica, and lots of arts and crafts. We’ve also learnt another language.” 

“I really enjoy cooking, it was fun. I have done cooking before, but I’ve never done African cooking. It was quite fun to learn something new,” Aicha added. 

10-year-old, Aicha Lees-Dem with her mum, Daisy

10-year-old, Aicha Lees-Dem with her mum, Daisy - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Aicha’s mum, Daisy Anna Lees, says that she is glad her daughter is learning new things, meeting other children from diverse backgrounds and is being enriched by the ACYCLE programme. 

“It’s great! I want my daughter to be as powerful as possible with a great attitude for self-potential.” 

“There’s been a 30-year campaign to bring black history into UK schools, so to have an out of school club where children can learn additional activities is really nice,” she added. 

Imani says donations are welcome and can be made through Ipswich & Suffolk Council For Racial Equality (ISCRE). For more information and contact details see here

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter