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In case you missed it, we have four new designs launching in October! Our 2020 Collection, planned right in the middle of a global pandemic, felt rather strange to say the least. And while at times it was uncomfortable and daunting to be forward planning during lockdown, we kept going, inspired by so many incredible people and organisations doing extraordinary things. And always with a thought in the back of our minds that we’d like to find a way to give back.
And this is what we have decided to do. For the launch collection, a £10 donation from the sale of each new design, will be split equally between two charities that have struck a chord with the Totter + Tumble team over the last twelve months; Duty to Care and The Black Curriculum.
Duty to Care
It is easy to say that our NHS staff have been our heroes, stepping onto the front line and taking on additional risks to look after our loved ones. But who is looking after them?
A dear friend of mine, a doctor in Intensive Care in the South West of the country, is the kind of person you want around when things are going wrong. Whilst so many medical staff understandably struggle with the emotional toll of difficult conversations, this particular friend can always find a way to celebrate the life these patients had. But when faced with the relentless calls with families about their loved ones battling coronavirus in hospital, I have never heard her so low. Or the anaesthetist I spoke to, who after six weeks of intubating patients, had never removed one. Or the member of staff at a cancer hospital ridden with anxiety that they may inadvertently infect their vulnerable patients despite the stringent precautions. These are just from the pandemic of this year, but our NHS staff are always under pressure.
Duty to Care is for NHS workers, providing frontline staff with mental health and wellness support. Our NHS staff often face enormous pressures, which is why Duty to Care seek to provide CBT therapists, psychotherapists, mindfulness teachers, meditation experts, breath-work experts, nutritional therapists, personal trainers, yoga teachers and life coaches to those who need it, when they need it and for free. We knew we had to find a way to give back to our NHS heroes, as we stood each Thursday evening during lockdown, clapping and banging pots and pans.
The Black Curriculum
Having taught in primary schools for a decade before launching Totter + Tumble, one area of the curriculum that particularly pained me was the history curriculum. For the children in my classes, there were interesting stories, yet often there was little for them to relate to - and at times nothing at all. When we teach children, we want them to connect to what we are educating them about, to enrich their understanding and for them to be able to use their knowledge. It's not enough for them to just know it. School and education, is entrenched in improving a sense of identity, or belonging and of promoting social cohesion, so that combined attainment is raised. Yet, the curriculum makes great omissions of communities and people.
The Black Curriculum is an initiative set up to teach Black history in schools, using art forms, to speak to young people, specifically 8-16 year olds. The organisation is also able to provide training and consultations for teachers across the country, to help inform and inspire their teaching all year round, as well as tailored corporate training to other organisations. The Black Lives Matter movement, which has been at the forefront this year and opened our eyes greatly, has only highlighted the need for justice and equality for black people and for this, amongst so many other things, there needs to be inclusive learning. This is why we knew we had to support this fledgling initiative.