We're Fizzypig, a small, friendly, not-for-profit company based in Gloucestershire, UK. We specialise in doing three things:
We can help you to find out:
- how people in your community or organisation really feel,
- the hidden skills and talents they have,
- what they would like to change and their dreams for the future.
We help people with shared interests and concerns to find each other, so that they can work together to tackle the issues they care about.
We offer consultancy services, mentoring, practical support and help in accessing funding to people and organisations who have an idea of how to make a positive difference where they are.
If you have an idea which you'd like to talk over with us and it fits withwe'd love to hear from you - just get in touch .
These sessions were designed for young people aged 10+ who were not in mainstream education. We worked with a group of 22 young people, providing opportunities to develop a range of musical skills including:
- group and solo singing
- lyric writing
- listening and music appreciation
- microphone and performance techniques.
Every bit as importantly, the sessions were also a great way to build self-confidence, work as a team and have some fun.
Our Home Educators' STEM club was featured in the local Gazette this week with a report about their recent success at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. More info here.
We are delighted to announce that Fizzypig recently won £4423.60 from the Institution of Engineering and Technology to run an autumn term engineering programme for six groups of home educated children across the South West of England. The children - many of whom experience rural isolation and have special needs - will be offered a range of fun and exciting design, build and test activities based on an active learning approach. These sessions will also offer the opportunity for parents to participate and learn alongside their children, building their confidence, understanding of and skills in science and engineering.
Wendy Lomas Wendy studied Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge and has a background in retail and customer service management, personal development and natural health. She has worked at Waterstones and Neal's Yard Remedies in Cambridge and London and is now self-employed as well as being a home educating parent. Wendy co-founded and ran the Meet Me in Winter project soon after moving to Wotton with her two sons. She is currently leading the Home Ed STEM, Basketball and Snowsports projects on behalf of Fizzypig as well as the Growing Friends and Veg project.
Sue Pankiewicz Sue worked for many years as a senior school English teacher before spending 8 years at the pupil referral unit of Children's Support Services, Essex with excluded pupils who had behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. She currently runs Principled Wellbeing - a organisation which helps parents, teenagers and children transform their lives and relationships.
Rachel Robinson Rachel has worked in higher education, local government, the advice sector, the voluntary and community sector and is currently working at Meningitis Now. She has lived in Gloucestershire for ten years. Rachel enjoys listening to people, finding out what matters to them and working out creative ways to make good things happen.
We are committed to supporting others in finding their own solutions to the issues they face. We believe that everyone has innate wisdom and the potential to live fulfilling, meaningful lives. Our work is focused on helping to uncover this potential both in ourselves and in the communities around us. We are particularly passionate about working with those who experience disadvantage or prejudice. Our work is largely participant-led and is always based on mutual respect and a celebration of diversity.
We love making connections, building networks, bringing people together and helping to provide unusual solutions to everyday problems. We frequently work in partnership with other organisations and are enthusiastic collaborators and co-creators.
Whether we're making films, running clubs or supporting others in setting up their own projects, everything we do is done with a commitment to excellence. We actively encourage all those we work with to draw on the best they can achieve, whilst prioritising their well-being at all times.
"I was invited by Wendy from Fizzypig to run workshops for a group of home educated children in my home town of Wotton-under-Edge. The children found these sessions fun, stimulating and educational. I was delighted when Fizzypig recognised the potential of my business and offered to help me grow it. Within a short period of time I was running workshops for other groups of home educated children in various location across the region, and my book sales increased as a result of Fizzypig's promotional activities. In partnership with Wendy and Fizzypig, we secured significant grant funding and sponsorship, enabling children from diverse backgrounds to access my practical science and technology sessions."
- Caroline Alliston, professional engineer, author of the popular 'Technology for Fun' series of children's project books, educator and science and technology workshop provider.
We are a group of enthusiastic home educating parents, children and engineers working in partnership with Technology for Fun. We meet regularly in people's homes to undertake a wide variety of design and make projects based around the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths.
We're student-led and believe strongly in learning by doing. Our group is diverse and inclusive, and is able to accommodate a range of different needs and learning styles.
We mostly use recycled materials, sourcing them locally from businesses and individuals, as well as from scrap stores, and are committed to this approach for both environmental and economic reasons.
Determined not to let a lack of money or facilities stop us from completing more complicated or expensive projects, we're very creative when it comes to finding unwanted items (e.g. borrowing two Greenpower Goblins from nearby schools) and applying for funding. We are currently funded by the IET and last year won a Young Engineers Specialist Award at the Big Bang Science Fair.
Mindshots was an online inspiration project for young people. The aim was to create a library of 3 minute long film portraits of positive role models from around the world to be used as a resource both in schools and at home.
For more information about the project, please visit mindshots.org
In 2011, Fizzypig director Wendy Lomas and musician Katie Elliott devised and ran an ambitious project in partnership with the community of Wotton-under-Edge and a team of contributors from across the UK. The project raised money for charities Shelter, MIND and Wotton Youth Club, involved hundreds of local people in the creation of a single and music video and was featured in the media not only locally, but nationally and internationally too. Three years later, the song is still being sung by choirs around the world. You can read all about it at meetmeinwinter.org
In 2005 Fizzypig director Katie Elliott set up young people's creative music-making collective, The Groove Project, in Wotton-under-Edge. Over the three years this participant-led project was active, it encouraged the development of a wide range of practical, creative and interpersonal skills and involved scores of local 10-18 year olds working collaboratively to write and record 3 CDs of original material. The project was made possible by the generous financial support of Youth Music and Wotton Arts Project.
You can find out more at thegrooveproject.co.uk
We have been fortunate to receive advice and guidance from a wide range of individuals and organisations including:
Tom Andrews at People United
Richard Arnott at servicejunkie
Ian Browne at Lloyds Banking Group
Dr Sally Byng at Barnwood Trust
Camila Amaya Castro
Jack Challoner at Explaining Science
Julie Ellison at Social Enterprise Works
Nicholas Garrick at Lighting up Learning
Penny Hay at 5x5x5=creativity
Tasha Flaherty at Open House
Jess Jenkins and the members of Wotton Youth Forum and Wotton Liaison Committee
Mindshots steering group members Denise Carr, Anna and Ute Christopher, Paul Marshall and Jane Renton
Oliver Mochizuki at Fundsurfer
Jerry Rhodes at the Centre for Effective Intelligence
Cormac Russell at Nurture Development
Staff and students at Bristol and Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs
Miranda Steele and Mac McHardy at People and Places
Dr Paul Strauss at 80by18
Chris and Jem Sweet at Trust in You
Hugh Thomas and Polly Barnes at My Future My Choice
Dr Mark Williamson at Action for Happiness
N.B. This page is currently under construction, so please forgive us if we haven't included everybody yet!
Our Home Ed Basketball and Snowsports sessions have been generously funded by Active Gloucestershire.
Wotton and SW Home Educators STEM club is currently funded by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Both the club and club members have won cash prizes from Young Engineers and previously been funded by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Renishaw and the Institute of Physics.
Wotton and SW Home Educators STEM club is run in partnership with Caroline Alliston of Technology for Fun.
The Fizzypig Ltd website was created in partnership with Martin Harvey of Mania Ltd.
Please email us or write to:
4 Turnpike Avenue
We looked for six projects, created and run by young people, that would make a positive difference to life in Wotton-under-Edge.
To find these projects, we started off by holding a consultation with as many 11-21 year olds in and around the town as we could. We wanted to know what they thought. What worked and what didn't? What did they care about and what did they want to make happen?
Next, we asked young people to get in touch to tell us about their ideas and why they mattered. How could they make a difference? What help would they need? How could we work together to bring their ideas to life?
We collected up all the ideas and put them to a public vote on Facebook. Local young people got to decide which six projects get chosen.
The young people running the six chosen projects were offered six months of mentoring, practical support, professional contacts and help in accessing funding to get their ideas off the ground.
To find out more, visit the Wott-ON website here.
We offer scriptwriting, voiceover, audio production, music composition and whiteboard animation services, all under one roof. If you have an idea you want to communicate simply and effectively, we can help.
In the summer of 2015, Fizzypig teamed up with allotmenteers from Wotton-under-Edge to create an initiative to supply the local Foodbank with fresh produce.
Local allotment holder, Steve Todd came up with the idea. Noticing that he and many of his fellow allotmenteers were growing more produce than they could use, he wondered if it would be possible to join together and donate surplus fruit and vegetables to the Foodbank.
Wotton Town Council helped to promote the idea to local allotment holders. Collection boxes were placed at the Knapp Road, New Road and Coombe allotments and, each week during the summer and autumn, these were filled with generous donations of rhubarb, plums, courgettes, herbs, potatoes, beans and lots more. People with excess produce from their gardens also donated via these boxes.
Steve and Wendy are keen to encourage other communities to set up similar projects. If you'd like to know more about the Wotton scheme and how to donate, or would like help or advice in starting up your own version of the project, please get in touch.
You can read an article from the Gazette about this project here.
These sessions were kickstarted by an Active Gloucestershire Sportivate grant in the spring of 2015 and have proved very popular within the home education community. The project ran so well that Active Gloucestershire nominated us for a national Sport England award.
Since then we've kept the sessions running and introduced over 35 children and parents to snowsports. More recently we won an Active Together grant from Gloucestershire County Council which subsidises the sessions at the Gloucester Ski centre and will enable us to take the children and parents involved to a snowdome in February 2016.
Friday Films for YOUth grew out of theproject.
The team have been working in partnership with Wotton Electric Picture House to programme monthly film screenings for young people. Tickets cost just £3 for 11-18 year olds and all the films are chosen by young people.
So far in 2015 there have been five screenings:
April: Men in Black 3
June: The DUFF
July: Furious 7
September: Paper Towns
And scheduled for this autumn we have:
October: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
November: Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials
Audience numbers have been encouraging and we are optimistic that Friday Films for YOUth will continue well into the New Year and beyond.
The Youth Café grew out of the Wott-ON youth project. Devised and run by a group of seven 11-14 year olds, the café ran every month from February 2015 until the project finished in July. However it was recognised as a success by local youth provider, Youth and Community Services, who offered to work in partnership with the young people to help it continue into the future. Sessions now take place fortnightly at Wotton Youth Centre, offering inexpensive refreshments, a comfortable and welcoming space in which to hang out, free wifi, pool, computers. These sessions are now hosting Wotton Youth Forum - meaning that even more young people can get involved in having a say about the local and countywide issues that affect them.
If you're concerned about safety on New Road, Wotton-under-Edge, and would like to do something to help raise money for a safe path down to the skatepark, or if you'd like to have your say about the new community park planned for the site, please join us! We're an ever-growing bunch of local people who care about helping to make things safe, welcoming and fun for everyone and we're working alongside Wotton Community Sports Foundation, Barnwood Trust, Wotton Youth Forum, the Jason Moir Road Safety Trust and the Wott-ON project. Our aim is to raise £10K towards the costs of building a new path by getting together teams of people to do anything they can think of (however unusual) to raise money! Got an idea or a skill you could share - get involved!
Find out more at our Facebook page here.
We listen - to help you find new solutions...
We can help you to uncover strengths amongst the people in your community or organisation and support them in finding new ways forward.
For example, early in 2015, Katie was invited to work with the team at Red Brick Building in Glastonbury:
"I sponsored Katie to carry out a short consultancy for a community project I support, allowing her a very open ended brief. She worked well with the team and came back with some very specific recommendations for short projects which could be carried out by the team instead of herself. This was a practical and cost effective solution."
Martin Stanley, Red Brick Building, Glastonbury
Since January 2016, Fizzypig has been running subsidised basketball sessions in Nailsworth and Gloucester for home educated 10-18 year olds. The sessions are led by coach Rory McCaffrey and attended by an ever growing number of young people. We are very grateful to Active Gloucestershire for the funding that helped to get these sessions off the ground.
The sessions have been so popular that some of the parents are now planning to organise their own family-friendly basketball sessions in Wotton-under-Edge, again coached by Rory.
If you'd like more information about either of the sessions, please get in touch with us.
In February 2015, Fizzypig brought together some local families and residents of Dryleaze House in Wotton-under-Edge to set up a series of computer buddying sessions. Every fortnight, residents meet up to learn computing skills from local young people.
The sessions have been so popular that a year on, around 25% of residents at the House have taken part, many of whom had never even switched on a computer before.
You can read more about the project here
userView: 8 formViewAs: 8