As my strap line says
“passionate in our ability to change lives through archery”
If you have started at my landing page and gone on to view each page in order you will already see where some of my projects and work have helped make a difference for those who have given the sport a chance.
However, not everything we do is long term sustainable sessions, we will do one off events or short periods of regular sessions, it really does depend on what you want. From business events, team building – especially post covid after long periods of working from home and in some cases starting a new job and only meeting your new colleagues online, a great chance to spend some time together in a different atmosphere.
Schools and youth or support groups who have a short term aim, giving someone a taste of something different or perhaps trying to help them see themselves from a different point of view.
In the time since lockdown 3 to late spring 2022 I have been in the position to help some of these groups achieve their aims by arranging venues and coaches (often lucky enough to go along and lend a help hand) to put on:
- a weekly session for a period of 6 weeks for children in a short term foster care situation who found themselves separated and placed with different families and archery allowed them to spend time together with the support of their temporary carers and enjoy something new as a family.
- 4 weekly sessions for those who attend a local LGBTQIA+ support group for those aged between 13-19.
- 5 weekly sessions for a group of amazing ladies who were in refuge following the brave decision to leave home settings that saw them living in situations of domestic violence.
What do all of these have in common?
The ability to try something new and relax in a safe environment with a team of carefully selected coaches who’s time allowed them to regain some of the self-belief that their current situation had seen diminish.
Since starting Integr8Archery this supportive approach has seen a community grow who support each other and I am proud that many wear the shirts because they feel they have gained support here.
Ours is a sport that can have a huge impact and I never take for granted the trust that someone puts in me to arrange their sessions to enable them to start a process that could change their lives.
This supportive environment has brought me together in partnership with Towcester Archers to provide sessions every two months where we can support those with disability and mental health battles. I help Northamptonshire Carers deliver archery as part of their multi sport programme for their Disability Inclusive Sports Club and other community groups have welcomed us in and as these groups settle I will share more about their work.