Devas’ very own Josie Benson has challenged herself to run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours continuously! Josie is doing this challenge to raise money for the club and in response to the negative effects of the Covid pandemic on young people. You can support Josie and find out more by visiting her Just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/josiedevasrun
Devas Club receives major grant from government Culture Recovery Fund
The Devas Club, serving young people in Battersea for more than 100 years, has been awarded £50,000 from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Devas, founded in 1884, is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country which received urgently needed support from a £257 million funding package as part of the continuing CRF grants programme, run through Arts Council England.
Devas has built up strong drama, music, dance and arts programmes, serving the needs of hundreds of young people in Wandsworth and neighbouring boroughs. In order to sustain them the trustees are now considering how best to extend and develop these vital contributions to local youth services.
The dance studio has been refurbished recently and the club is proud of its state-of-the art music and recording facilities. In recent years, some of its members have gone on to win awards, perform locally, and gain national recognition in talent shows.
The chair of the Devas Trustees, Andrew Griffith, said: “This is a major boost for us. It helps us protect the range of our arts activities – dance, music, creative art, and above all drama. We are very pleased to be able secure this outreach work for young people – many from disadvantaged backgrounds – across our catchment area.”
The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:“ This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery. These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country.”
The chair of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:“ This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”
A friend of the club, D’Angelo Ferlance-Oduye, has sadly lost his mother and only parent at the age of 21 to cancer. Not in a stable financial position, he is having to crowd fund to give his mum the send off that she deserves.
D’Angelo was a popular regular who spent a lot of time with us in the club’s recording studio. He performed at many of the club’s showcase fundraiser events, often being the highlight of the show.
Please help us support him by making a donation here: https://www.gofundme.com/mumsdyingwish
Since Josie’s amazing run in the dessert which raised such a huge sum for the Devas – where she was loved and admired senior youth worker in charge – she has continued to go forward in her career.
She now works as a motivating personal trainer; she continues her fundraising work for young people; and she is preparing for her 31st marathon.
She is trained as a fit-box coach, High intensity training instructor, and remains of course a very keen runner – as she needs to be to keep up her marathon running.
It was in the autumn 2016 that Josie launched her fundraising campaign ‘Josie in the Desert’ to raise funds for the Devas, [check out her extreme performance which led to £ 5,000 pounds raised on justgiving.com for ‘Devas Juniors’ – see here News Archive ].
Since then she has performed for a year in the successful ‘In the Heights’ musical at the Kings Cross Theatre, and then started working for Groundwork London on their Gangs prevention team, while continuing her motivating work as personal trainer.
For Josie, sports and running is more than sweating and personal tests – it’s also about helping young people and supporting charity. Currently she is raising funds for the young people linked to Groundwork London.
Earlier this year, she ran her 30th marathon in support of the UK’s children charity, NSPCC, even completing two marathons in one week.