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Manx charity awarded £97k grant to continue early years work

Singing Jo & Co aims to provide support to families across the Isle of Man

Families across the Isle of Man will continue to be supported by a local charity after a huge grant from the Manx Lottery Trust.

Singing Jo & Co has been awarded a grant of £97,314 from the trust's Community Awards Thematic Fund. 

The grant will be spent over two years to enrich the lives of preschoolers and children with additional learning needs through music and dance.

The charity's vibrant sessions focus on boosting essential skills such as vocabulary, language, communication, social interaction, basic counting, and physical fitness, and are enjoyed by over 500 children, parents, grandparents and caregivers every week.

In the wake of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic Singing Jo & Co adapted to support parents in engaging their children at home and within two weeks of the first lockdown they were providing 'live' daily sessions via zoom.

A YouTube channel was also launched inspired by songs and stories used in their sessions. 

The introduction of activity sheets proved highly effective in making learning enjoyable and fun for young minds.

The addition of a new staff member and extended session times allowed the charity to continue to offer support to parents and grandparents. 

The charity aims to use Trust funding to continue to provide support to families across the Isle of Man and welcome even more children to their sessions.

Jo Jackson, Head of Singing Jo & Co said: "Our ultimate goal is to inspire young children through music, creativity and learning. 

"We take immense pride in the fact that the majority of our young participants stay with us from birth to five years old leaving with essential skills, newfound friendships, enhanced confidence, improved physical fitness, creativity, and a profound sense of happiness as they embark on their school journey. 

"We also know that parents, grandparents and carers have a lot of fun at our sessions meeting new people and building lasting friendships.

"So we are deeply honoured to receive this generous grant from Manx Lottery Trust. This funding will allow us to continue delivering our award-winning sessions whilst providing essential support to families across the Isle of Man.

"The skills we teach form the foundation for future learning and success, and we look forward to continuing and sharing the fun and laughter that fills our sessions."

Stephen Turner, Chairman of Manx Lottery Trust, added: "Singing Jo & Co. has consistently demonstrated a profound commitment to the well-being and development of children in the Isle of Man. The Trust is proud to support their efforts and believes that their work aligns perfectly with the 'Empowering Young People' theme of this year's Community Awards Thematic Fund. 

"We look forward to witnessing the positive impact this grant will have on the lives of countless children and families across the Isle of Man."

You can find further information on Singing Jo & Co here.

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