Coming out of one of the many lockdowns we have been through since early 2020, we have seen the impact that covid has had on young people all around Gloucestershire. We put our heads together and thought that the best way to help young people was to empower them, so they can see the impact they are able to have within their own communities. This led to the birth of our project Rise. This project has two main parts to it; Reach and the Youth Active Citizen Fund.
Reach is our name for street based youth work. This is an opportunity for us to go into communities to make connections by active based youth work or talking and playing ice breaker games to get to know one another and break down barriers. This provides room to build relationships and a consistent safe space for young people where they may not have any. There are moments in these sessions where we can really connect with young people and show them options that are available, that they might not have known they could do before.
Youth Active Citizen Fund
YACF is a very exciting part of this project in which we are in a position to be able to offer up to £500 for groups of at least two young people. This funding will be put towards any changes that they think is needed within their own community. We try to imbed ourselves in the communities we reach, however we will never know all the issues and the area as well as the young people who are growing up there, therefore it is only right that they apply for, and decide where their funding goes. Some examples of projects that young people have applied for already are; new goal posts to be put up, water fountain/tap at a local park, toilet at local park and events such as skate competition to raise money for floodlights. These are all fantastic and viable ideas that will be put to the Youth Board.
Youth BoardThe key element of this project is that we are empowering the voice of young people in their own communities, especially as it will be directly impacting their lives. This led to the idea of young people deciding which applicants for the YACF should be successful and what they believe will benefit their communities. So with this there is an opportunity for young people aged 10-25 to sit on our Youth Board to get together once a month and make these decisions themselves.