Social or Economic Disadvantage
The first Luton Matters award in the Social or Economic Disadvantage category was made to Luton All Women’s Centre in March 2020 for a new domestic abuse support programme for employers. ‘Employers Against Domestic Abuse’ supports businesses and organisations in the Luton area to become a domestic abuse aware employer, developing awareness and being better able to offer support to employees affected by this issue. Domestic abuse is prevalent across all sections of society and is often well hidden.
‘In any one year, more than 20% of employed women are experiencing domestic abuse. This has a profound effect on productivity and sickness in the workplace.’
The key aims of the programme are to:
- enable employers to support employees experiencing domestic abuse, and to help employees who are perpetrators to stop
- improve staff wellbeing and engagement
- reduce absenteeism or underperforming due to domestic abuse
Early participants in the programme include a local housing association, a bank and a private care provider.
Arts and Heritage
The first award in the Arts and Heritage category was made to Tangled Feet in June 2020 for a three-stranded programme of artistic work to develop new audiences in the town, create original work for schools based on themes of well-being, connectivity and social cohesion, and nurture young talent through to professional opportunity.
Despite Covid delays, Tangled Feet developed their school show Butterflies, which explores anxiety from a child’s perspective, and were able to programme a tour of Luton schools in the summer term of 2021 with a young Luton artist in a paid internship role as Assistant Director. The show has been picked up for touring outside of the Luton area in the future. A collaboration with the Next Generation Youth Theatre (NGYT), including additional paid internships with local artists, is planned at the Hat Factory in July 2021, which should lead to the development of brand new work and full productions in 2022.
The first award in the Health category was made to Early Childhood Partnership in March 2021 to fund the continuity and development of its play therapy service for child victims of domestic abuse in Luton and Central Bedfordshire.