Innovative youth projects aimed at increasing the participation of young people in volunteering are to share more than £70,000 thanks to a national funding campaign.
A host of partners including Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, the Thomas Farr Charitable Trust and Nottinghamshire Community Foundation have chosen 15 local community groups to benefit from the #iwill campaign.
The UK-wide initiative, coordinated by charity Step up to Serve and being delivered locally by Nottinghamshire Community Foundation, aims to encourage six out of ten young people to get involved in social action by 2020 through volunteering, campaigning or fundraising in their local community.
The scheme is being funded by The Big Lottery Fund and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, which are each investing £20m nationally over the next four years to help support the work of community groups focused on harnessing the skills and knowledge of young people.
Nottinghamshire Community Foundation is acting as match funders and is awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund across Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County.
In all, grants of up to £5,000 are being awarded in Nottinghamshire to 15 local groups whose work will collectively reach hundreds of young people across the county.
Successful recipients include Al-Hurraya, Base 51, Evolve CIC, Fearless, Greenway Community Association, Oasis, Send and OWEN.
A special presentation event was held at Carlton Fire Station today (Thursday 3 October) attended by project leaders and young people who already contribute their time to improve the community.
Damien West, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager for Prevention, Protection and Partnerships said: “Competition for funding was tough and the standard of applications was very high. Nottinghamshire has a whole army of community volunteers working hard to keep young people safe and we cannot praise their efforts enough. This funding will help support this work and will give young people the opportunity to be part of that team and really make a difference.”
Paddy Tipping said: “Young people have fantastic ideas and vision and this campaign aims to channel that energy into positive change within our communities.
“We want to increase the opportunities available for young people to make a difference in Nottinghamshire and use their skills and knowledge to increase the safety of their peers as well as foster positive relationships within our communities.
“The projects we have funded will help develop confidence and self-esteem among young people and give them greater responsibility as well as encourage critical-thinking and decision-making.”
Nicola Jenkins, who set up the OWEN (Open Water Education Network) Trust in memory of her 12-year-old son Owen Jenkins who drowned in the River Trent in Nottingham in 2016, has received funding worth £5,000 to complete the final stages of a primary school educational programme to teach more young people the dangers of waterways and how to save people from drowning.
Owen, from Beeston, died while trying to rescue two girls who were struggling in strong currents.
Nicola said: “My thoughts are that if we teach our children young enough and in an age appropriate, fun and exciting way about being safe around open water then they will become educated adults.
“My son is a hero, he gave his life to save another, he didn't know what to do in an emergency but had he known he may still be here today that's why I called the programme OWEN in memory of my brave son.
“We are so proud to have been accepted for the grant amount this means the world to us.”