This year, LCL is once again donating the sponsorship proceeds from the annual sailing event to charity. The proceeds will go to the De Vijver care organisation in Deurne (Antwerp) under Dorp Nr 2 - Koningin Fabiola. De Vijver is committed to serving young people and adults suffering from autism and other mental and/or physical disabilities.
The sponsorship is part of LCL's annual outdoor networking event, the LCL North Sea Regatta, which will be held on 23 June 2022. In addition to having fun and making connections, this special day is all about a sizzling sailing competition. This year, 22 boats will take part in the race. Each boat represents a specific sponsorship amount for a good cause, and this year it is going to De Vijver.
Support for vulnerable adolescent girls
With this sponsorship amount, LCL is contributing to the realisation of intensive support and housing facilities for vulnerable adolescent girls in order to increase their chances in society. An initiative that LCL fully supports. The girls come from unsafe and difficult situations and mostly struggle with emotional, behavioural and mental challenges, such as autism. In terms of age, they range between 15 and 23. “These girls come to De Vijver because they are stuck in mainstream care. In cooperation with the 'Growing up in Flanders' agency, we can offer them a safe place where they can work on planning a meaningful future," says Annie-Marie Aldeweireldt, chief executive of Dorp Nr 2 - Koningin Fabiola and the care organisation De Vijver.
This course follows a modern approach. Aldeweireldt: “We give them responsibility by getting them to take on some ownership of their future path. This course is designed together with them and completed at their own pace. That way it won't be too intense, because for some it will be faster and for others a little slower. A course lasts an average of eight to twelve months. Of course, we will provide more support if it proves necessary. Our goal is always: maximum support for more resilient adults.”
“We provide counselling that is specifically familiar with this issue. We also have a psychologist and a team coordinator. The counselling is quite intensive because we really believe in a 1-on-1 relationship with these young people. For most of them, it begins with regaining confidence in themselves. Creating a good foundation is especially important to us.”
Increasing everyone's chances in society
As in the previous year, LCL is choosing a good cause in the form of a social and local project that is working to increase the resilience of a socially disadvantaged group. It fits with LCL's ESG strategy, which this time places a strong focus on the social aspect. LCL considers it important to contribute to this initiative, because it strongly believes in the added value of inclusiveness: Promoting opportunities for all members of society.
Sponsorship is very important to the De Vijver care organisation on several levels. Aldeweireldt: “It makes us visible and brings us recognition for what we do. It also makes society more aware of these issues.”
“Furthermore, as a private organisation, all types of sponsorship are very welcome. We provide specialist guidance, so it is a costly project. But we are happy to take on this challenge. There is a lot of demand for our work in Flanders, actually in all of Belgium, because it is aimed at children and adolescents for whom all other options have already been exhausted," explains Aldeweireldt.
A safe and stimulating environment ensures a meaningful place in society
The project includes about six studios in a safe and stimulating environment. The adolescent girls live independently but can also come together in a warm living space, educational kitchen and educational workshop. Attention has also been paid to a wellness bathroom: the idea behind this is that taking good care of yourself and increasing your self-worth are also important details.
These studios are located in a residential community. For example, the studios are adjacent to three support residential apartments. Aldeweireldt: “There are committed residents living there who take on a kind of role model function, making the step back to society a bit easier. For this reason, there is also a common garden.”
The group that the De Vijver care organisation forms part of strongly believes in integrating its buildings into the cityscape. They have various forms of housing facilities scattered throughout Deurne, ranging from ordinary studios to specialist buildings. “Our main mission is to integrate people into society as far as possible. By creating an environment that is similar to society, the girls learn about and cope with everyday events, which will help them to take their meaningful place in society more quickly," Aldeweireldt says.
De Vijver care organisation & Dorp Nr 2 - Koningin Fabiola
The De Vijver care organisation is part of the umbrella organisation Dorp Nr 2 - Koningin Fabiola, which also includes the ACG organisation for sheltered and social workplaces. De Vijver is also known as a specialist organisation with regard to autism; from normal aptitude to those with mild to severe intellectual and/or physical disabilities. The focus is on integration into society. There are around 700 people working within the entire organisation. De Vijver offers counselling, activities and living arrangements. It supports 613 persons.
Want to learn more about the De Vijver care organisation or sponsor the project?