Vita Nova, an arts charity for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction has today launched a crowdfunding campaign. It was one of a select few applicants chosen to feature in the Aviva Community Fund's crowdfunding website.
The charity, which supports recovering addicts in the community and takes its message into schools with educational plays and performances, has been hit hard by a funding shortfall caused by COVID-19. Its engagement work has been curtailed but normally sees it reach school groups, young people, and the local community, with plays reflecting the group’s life experiences with drug and alcohol addiction, followed by an opportunity to talk to the cast.
Image of 'Raven' from ‘Scratchin’ the Surface.'
Pre-COVID, the charity was running a series of weekly creative workshops for people in recovery at its Boscombe HQ, including creative writing, digital art, music and theatre.
Vita Nova means "New Life" and as well as educating the general public about the struggles and dangers of alcoholism and addiction, it is an essential service for recovering addicts and alcoholics. It helps them stay sober by rebuilding their shattered self-worth and self-esteem within a safe, supportive, and caring environment. By being part of the Vita Nova community and unleashing their creative talents, members gain confidence and find new purpose in life.
It's been an essential service during the lockdown, continuing online with a Whatsapp group, plus twice-weekly meetings on Zoom. Where service users could share their experiences and take part in online play readings ranging from 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'The Importance of Being Earnest', to 'Frankenstein' by local icon Mary Shelley.
The charity was founded in 1999 by Sharon Muiruri Coyne who as recently returned as Artistic Director to help secure its future. The campaign features exclusive original artwork by David G Taylor (pictured below), an artist and a Vita Nova service user.
David said, "after coming out of a local drug and alcohol treatment centre last year, Vita Nova has helped me stay in recovery, start to rebuild my life and find a new purpose. They've definitely helped me unblock my creativity and as well as boosting my confidence as an artist, I'm now also studying for a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at Bournemouth University."
• Full details of the campaign and Vita Nova itself at https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/vita-novas-moving-forward-project
Image from the play 'The Nest'
For media enquiries please contact Vita Nova's Founder and Artistic Director, Sharon Muiruri Coyne on 07816 613 765.