Rowan, an arts and crafts therapy charity based in Cambridge, was the recent recipient of a donation of £5,000 as one of CSR’s three “UK charity of the Year” selections.
Rowan was started in 1984 to improve the lives of learning-disabled people through the provision of services and meaningful activities. This was against the background of change that, quite radically at the time, sought to move people out of institutions and into the community. Very quickly, the medium of arts & crafts was identified as a highly effective way to enhance the lives of learning-disabled people, as well as being a platform for reducing social isolation and progressing skills development.
With grant assistance from the NHS and Cambridgeshire County Council, four Cambridge professionals backed the formation of the charity, called The Rowan Foundation, in 1984. In order to provide studio space and a secure home for Rowan the current premises, in Humberstone Road, were purchased in 1993. In 2003 a new charity, Rowan Humberstone, was established to provide a strong social enterprise ethos, thereby enhancing the sustainability and future of Rowan for its beneficiaries. This is the vibrant and active charity you see at work today, which is known simply as Rowan.
Judith Jones, Marketing and Fundraising Manager for Rowan was quoted as saying “This donation has helped to buy a minibus for Rowan. Our previous minibus had to be scrapped three years ago, depriving students of the transport that allows them the freedom to explore outside places and activities. The students have been raising funds for a replacement ever since. Through the generosity of CSR as well as White House Arts in Chesterton and Marshall Aerospace we now, at last, have our minibus. The students, learning-disabled adults, have made their own contribution, undertaking sponsored walks and selling their art work to help raise the funds. Having a minibus again means that Rowan’s students can easily visit new places, take part in community activities and benefit from the cultural heritage of Cambridge