Here at the Vanguard Centre we have been working with a few different charities lately, and we’d love to share some of the community outreach that we have been doing!
What we would like to achieve is to be able to work closely with our local community to improve physical health and mental well-being through helping people find a fun and accessible activity. We want to bring archery, blacksmithing and HEMA to the wider community throughout Glasgow while supporting other organisations and charities that are doing good work for people.
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
One of our students for German longsword is studying this as part of a Duke of Edinburgh award. Our instructor will be working with this student for 12 months, practising not only the physical applications and techniques, but studying the literature available to us in this particular sword discipline. Learning to use the longsword takes a lot of time and dedication, and we hope this student finds the learning process as wonderful as we do!
Move On in Glasgow
We have also been working with the Move On charity, which works with vulnerable young people some of which have been affected by homelessness. Part of the help they provide is by a mentoring programme where the young person has a mentor that helps them with guidance and advice. This charity also provide young and vulnerable people with training and support to achieve a range of positive outcomes. Part of this involves the young person choosing an activity they would like to try, then the young person and their mentor attend that activity for around six weeks. We have a few people from this group at the Vanguard Centre: they attend on a weekly basis for archery and sword classes, learning a new hobby that not only helps with physical fitness but also brings like minded people together to enjoy recreational activities.
Glasgow Life and the Family Active Budget
Recently, we have been working with F.A.B. (Family Activity Budget), part of a new scheme launched by Glasgow Life. This scheme is aimed towards making activities more available to care-experienced young people who otherwise might not be able to attend clubs and classes due to limited finances. This is a two year programme that is still in its early stages, but we are proud to be a part of this exciting new project, giving young people a chance to try new sports and activities within the Glasgow area – and we are of course delighted to be spreading the world of HEMA to the wider community.
Key Support Charity
We have also recently attended a 40th anniversary of an organisation called Key Support, which is a charity based in Glasgow that helps people with disabilities and learning difficulties to live independently. Our instructors gave a demonstration and a sword lesson at this anniversary event, and since the weather was lovely, everyone went outside to get involved in a bit of broadsword. This was great fun for all involved, and even people with mobility limitations joined in. We hope to work more with this charity in future, making HEMA and archery accessible to their members.
The Triquetra Collection
We have been doing some fundraising to be able to donate a new book to the charitable Triquetra Collection of antique swords and fencing treatises. Whenever we find antique books that would fit the Collection, we always try to do what we can to acquire these items and donate them to the charity for preservation and study.
Low Parks Museum
We have been helping provide demonstrations, have-a-go sessions, and historical presentations at the Low Parks Museum in South Lanarkshire. The museum is home to many interesting historical artefacts and we have been helping to provide information and context about and related to these items for the members of the public who want to learn more about them.
Would you like to work with us?
If you run a museum, charity, or social enterprise, and would like to work with us on a project, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, and we would be delighted to talk with you to see what we can do to help.