Two award-winning authors and child mental health campaigners have received recognition from the Prime Minister this week for their CIC Split Perspectivz’s work on the Builder Book programme and its positive impact on child mental health.
The award comes following a three-year campaign that has been acknowledged by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, which supports the Prime Minister with the Points of Light award, a cross-party programme supported by all MPs which recognises an outstanding individual volunteer, charity leader or community champion for the positive change they are making for their community.
Being announced on Friday 12th, May, Natalie Reeves Billing, who along with business partner Jude Lennon has been heavily involved with Eurovision, distributing thousands of Builder Book education packs around the city, said:
“This is a pivotal moment for us. Having the prime minister write to you personally thanking you for your work and having this published nationally on a government website almost left us both lost for words when he heard!
“We’ve delivered more than 23,000 Builder Book Boxes to date across the Liverpool City Region, featuring learning resources to help children develop reading and creativity skills.
“We founded the community interest company ‘Split Perspectivz’ in 2020 to help foster reading and creativity as part of education. From this, we created the ‘Builder Book’ learning resource boxes, working both locally and collaboratively to make boxes free and accessible to children most in need of them. The boxes are assembled by a team of volunteers before being distributed to schools, community centres, parent groups, and town halls. With a variety of boxes available, they focus on learning and play for key stages 1 and 2, with materials for children to read, draw, build, sketch, talk and laugh. The award really is testament to everyone on our team which includes all our wonderful, enthusiastic volunteers, loyal collaborators and partners that have helped in making this all happen.
“We’ve been running additional local community projects Liverpool City Region-wide to celebrate Eurovision, including children’s workshops, creating the song ‘Together’ that children can dance along with, and producing a Eurovision magazine.
“We have been working with Ukrainian Interior designer Anna Troian as well as creating and delivering workshops for the Ukrainian community distributing packs to 3,000 children in the city, with a downloadable version available on our Split Perspectivz’s website. These include resources and fact sheets about different countries, with a focus on Ukraine and building empathy with refugees to fully involve families in the run-up to the event.”
Both Natalie and Jude have been invited ahead of the announcement on Friday, to Downing Street on Wednesday 10th May to celebrate Eurovision with the Prime Minister.
Natalie is also the Primary Ambassador of ‘The Boat of Hope’, a child mental health campaign. The campaign founder, Bernie Hollywood OBE, from Liverpool, completed an incredibly brave, life-endangering solo row across the Atlantic, covering 3000 miles in 90 days on a boat filled with artwork and words of children across the UK. Natalie has written the official accompanying picture book with all sales going towards the campaign and creating a space for young people to talk.
Split Perspectivz is currently working alongside Connected Places Catapult on a national inclusive innovation project aimed at primary school children to allow children to harness their creativity and use it in the course of their working lives.