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Clarion Futures helps bring joy to families during lockdown

Clarion Futures is supporting a local Cambridgeshire community project called Box of Rainbows which coordinates deliveries of craft boxes for families in Fenland during the coronavirus lockdown.

The social enterprise consisting of Clarion Futures with Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling Network (CCORRN), originally started the Box of Rainbows project to donate craft resources to children with chronic illnesses, but after seeing the clear need in the community caused by the lockdown, they were compelled to help. With the support of Clarion Futures and other partner organisations, the project was expanded to include hundreds more local families in need.

The first 200 boxes were delivered in April 2020 to over 450 children, with each box containing arts and craft activities for the whole family to enjoy. This was a community effort, where local businesses were instrumental in making the project possible. Since it was around the Easter holidays, Ormiston Families, a local charity, donated chocolate eggs while local company Smurfit Kappa donated the boxes. The local fire service also kindly volunteered to help put the boxes together to ensure they delivered some much needed fun and distraction for local families.

Maria Walker, a neighbourhood investment officer at Clarion Housing worked with CCORRN to get the first boxes delivered. After receiving more funding, Maria along with the other organisations and volunteers plan to make two further rounds of deliveries in the coming months, which will include more activities in each box for indoor and outdoor use for children to play.

Maria Walker said, “I’m proud to support this project to help bring some joy to local families during these difficult times. It is inspiring to know that when CCORRN recognised the need to support these families, the local businesses and services all joined together to ensure they can help bring these moments of joy”.

The Boxes of Rainbows project has received support from partners like Oasis Community Centre, People and Animals, Living Sport, Active Fenland, March Food Bank and CHS. The new box deliveries will include activities for families to do at home and People & Animals have donated 13,000 plants from their community farm.

Clarion Futures will continue to invest and support initiatives that help residents to overcome their challenges, transforming lives and communities for the better.

Coronavirus stories

Read our collection of stories of people in Clarion communities making a difference.