Black Country Chamber of Commerce - £145,000 of National Express Foundation Funding to Support Over 2,700 Local Young People This Year


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£145,000 of National Express Foundation Funding to Support Over 2,700 Local Young People This Year

The National Express Foundation, a charity set up in 2012 to help disadvantaged young people, has awarded £145,000 to support 22 community groups and six colleges and universities across the Black Country, Birmingham, Coventry and Kent.

BME United has secured £2,500 of Foundation community grant funding to deliver a bespoke Youth Employment Skills (YES) programme, focused on skills and unemployment advice for nearly 50 16-24 year olds in Wolverhampton. The programme will include one-to-one advice on CV writing, job searching, completing application forms, interview techniques, further training/education, and referrals to other established institutes.

The programme will also encourage volunteering within the local community to help the young people integrate into and help improve their local community as well as potentially giving them new skills.

Shiv Parekh, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at BME United Ltd said: “BME United Ltd is really pleased to receive a grant award from the National Express Foundation to help us make a difference in our local community. The grant will be used to deliver our Youth Employment Skills programme which will involve young unemployed people of Wolverhampton between the ages of 16-24. The YES programme will develop young people’s employability skills, helping them move forward and supporting them to move closer to getting back into the jobs market.”

Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation said: “We are delighted to announce the National Express Foundation funding awards for 2017. Our £145,000 funding will help deliver even more positive and engaging activities for local young people and help those who might not otherwise be able to continue with their studies in further and higher education.

“Since our launch in 2012 we have already helped over 11,500 local young people and with the latest round of funding awards we will be able to support nearly 3,000 more. We’re really looking forward to getting involved in the delivery of this year’s projects and seeing how it helps local young people progress in life.”

The other 21 community groups to benefit from Foundation funding this year are:

  • £2,500 Balsall Heath CATS, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Beacon Evangelical Church, Birmingham
  • £5,000 Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Castle Vale Neighbourhood Partnership Board, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Disability Resource Centre, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Friends of Sycamore Adventure, Dudley
  • £5,000 Gospel Oak Community Centre, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Hall Green Youth, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Handsworth Carers Group, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Handsworth Wood Youth Group, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Holding On Letting Go, Kent
  • £5,000 Kids In Communication, Walsall and Wolverhampton
  • £5,000 Lee Chapel North Helping Hands Job Club, Basildon
  • £5,000 Let Us Play, Wolverhampton
  • £5,000 Olio Hub, Darlaston
  • £2,500 Our Place Community Hub, Sutton Coldfield
  • £5,000 Radio Plus, Coventry
  • £2,500 Smethwick Youth and Community Centre, Smethwick
  • £2,500 Sport 4 Life UK, Birmingham
  • £2,500 St Basils, Birmingham
  • £2,500 Tara Martins Community Project, Kent

Coventry University, the University of Warwick and Walsall College have also secured annual bursaries of £10,000 per year from the Foundation bursary programme to help local young students continue in education. Three other universities that are receiving the second and third year installments of their annual bursaries are Aston University, Birmingham City University and the University of Wolverhampton. Coventry University also receives their final installment for a bursary programme agreed in 2015.

For full details of the respective projects and bursary programmes supported by Foundation funding this year please visit

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