News release from 10/02/2022

Grants of almost £78,000 given to local groups working with children and young people

picture of people receiving a cheque with grant written on it

Thirteen local organisations across South Cambridgeshire have been awarded a total of almost £78,000 from the District Council, for projects which help motivate and empower children and young people.

The new grant scheme was launched last year as a pilot by South Cambridgeshire District Council, with £40,000 of the funding provided on a one-off basis by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Grants totalling £77,920 were awarded to voluntary and community sector groups, charities and public sector bodies for projects aiming to improve quality of life for hundreds of children and young people in the District, addressing social disadvantage and equality of opportunity and issues such as mental health, diet and nutrition and anti-social behaviour.  

The schemes receiving grants are:

  • Orchard Park Community Council – awarded £8,000 to provide two youth workers (in conjunction with the Romsey Mill charity) to work with disengaged young people potentially involved in antisocial behaviour and encourage them to play a positive role in their community, as well as to provide a variety of youth work and activities to be co-produced with local young people.
  • The Romsey Mill charity – awarded £4,158 to expand its Cambourne Youth Autism Programme of specialist weekly sessions to draw in more young people with autism aged 5-12 from across the district, with benefits to their families and communities.
  • Let’s Cook CIC – the community-interest company received £7,568.33 to train volunteers from groups and clubs across the district to deliver a range of cookery workshops to children and young people.
  • Histon and Impington Friends – the charity was awarded £4,190 to train young mental health champions at Impington Village College who will work with a team of adults to reach out to pupils and engage with local sports clubs and youth organisations.
  • Orwell Eco Youth Council – received £4,860 to create a youth council with support from a sessional worker to mentor young people to deliver environmental projects in their community (such as tree planting and creating eco-friendly products) and an eco-friendly youth club.
  • Unique Feet, Cambridge Rare Disease Network – the charity received £7,500 to pay towards a group coordinator and activities (such as horse riding or biking) to provide support, friendship and confidence building to local families and their children living with rare conditions.
  • Blue Smile – a charity supporting the mental wellbeing of Cambridgeshire pupils via art-based therapies received £5,422 for a therapist at Histon and Impington Brook Primary to help unlock the potential of pupils experiencing poor mental health.
  • Cambridge Joint Play Schemes - awarded £5,000. The local charity provides holiday playschemes for children and young people with moderate to severe learning disabilities and will use the funding for respite weekend/ holiday sessions.
  • Shelford & Stapleford Youth Initiative – the Sawston charity received £7,000 to establish and grow regular indoor and outdoor activities for young people such as cooking, games, football and volleyball, and provide a safe space to socialise.
  • Creative Cooking WAY – Waterbeach Action for Youth was awarded £5,722 for its project to promote healthy cooking from scratch using food waste donated from the Tesco Fare Shares scheme, with the funding going towards venue hire, tutor costs and equipment.
  • Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue – received £7,000 to provide courses for young people to participate in fire-station activities and simulated emergency activities aimed at reducing risky choices made by young people and antisocial behaviour by raising awareness of the consequences of actions.
  • Kite Trust - the charity supports wellbeing and creativity for LGBTQ+ young people across Cambridgeshire. It received £6,500 to increase its group activities to support young LGBTQ+ individuals across South Cambridgeshire.
  • Cambridge Acorn Jazz Project - the local charity was awarded £5,000 for its therapeutic music work with children and families addressing issues related to stress, trauma, attachment and social justice. It will be partnering with Cambridge Modern Jazz on music making and workshops in schools.

Councillor John Williams

Cllr John Williams, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to contribute to the important work of these superb projects across our District. They will support hundreds of children and young people to improve their well-being and life opportunities, which is crucial at this time after so many have been unable to enjoy the support of community and school life due to the pandemic. This funding will not only help improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the individuals participating in such a diverse and wonderful array of activities, but it will also benefit and support their families and communities.”

Cllr Tom Sanderson, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion Committee, said: “It is fantastic to be able to support the children and young people of South Cambridgeshire by funding these outstanding projects. The pandemic has placed huge pressure on our young people, and we know that the effects are likely to be felt for some time to come. It’s brilliant to be able to support such a wide range of activities which will not only help to motivate and empower local children and young people but will also benefit families and the communities in which they reside.”

Cllr Dr Andrew Chan, chairman of Orchard Park Community Council, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this grant which will make a real difference to the Orchard Park community and especially our young people. Our young people have become increasingly marginalised since the pandemic, with fewer free-to-access activities and opportunities. This has had a negative impact on them, particularly those who can't access paid activities, and on the wider community. 

“This funding will support invaluable youth work, focused on activities to empower Orchard Park's young people. Skilled youth workers from Romsey Mill will help them to build confidence and a sense of purpose within the community, giving them a voice and helping them feel valued.  Our aim is to make Orchard Park a great place to live for all ages, with a real sense of community. We now have a strong partnership with our local schools, voluntary organisations, councils, police and others, all supporting us to achieve this for Orchard Park's residents.”

Meanwhile, South Cambridgeshire District Council is making a one-off temporary adaptation to the criteria for awards from its popular Community Chest Fund to support local communities wishing to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The main alteration to the existing rules will allow Parish Councils in the District to apply for funding for Jubilee-related purchases or projects which are in keeping with the spirit of the Community Chest. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Grants would be for permanent memorials, such as the planting of a Jubilee tree or rose, or a commemorative Jubilee bench, rather than one-off events or consumables, with grants of up to £700 available via application.