The latest from the Black Country 

£100,000 Funding Opportunity to Support More Local Young People to Succeed in Life

Olio HubEarlier this year the National Express Foundation awarded nearly £230,000 to support 2,000 youngsters across the West Midlands and Kent. It is now launching a second funding programme, with £100,000 available to support even more local young people.

National Express doubled the amount of funding it provided to the Foundation in 2018. The charity has therefore launched an additional funding round this year for the first time.

Since its launch in 2012, the Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds which has helped over 16,000 young people enjoy positive and developmental activities within their local communities and to continue with their education.

The charity has opened for 2018 second round funding applications and is offering educational institutions and community groups in the Black Country the opportunity to bid for grants out of the additional £100,000 funding available.

The Foundation is inviting local community groups to bid for grants of £2,500, £5,000 or for larger amounts of £10,000 or £20,000 to support sustainable projects that provide positive, developmental and engaging activities for young people in deprived areas of the Black Country.

Local colleges and universities can also apply for grants of £10,000 per year towards innovative bursary schemes that help students from disadvantaged backgrounds continue in further or higher education.

Kids In Communication, based in Wolverhampton, is using £20,000 grant to support the group’s social impact programme. Through teaching new skills in photography, digital citizenship, audio recording and editing, as well as the opportunity to use these new skills in a practical environment, 150 young people aged 8-18 will engage in positive activities, raising their aspirations by being able to earn a certified award in partnership with the Open College Network.

Rob Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Kids In Communication, said: “KIC is absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with the National Express Foundation. Their charitable support is a vital lifeline for smaller organisations and really helps local communities, enabling us to continue to deliver positive activities and recognise the achievements of many young people in Walsall and Wolverhampton.”

Essex Avenue Community Tenants and Residents Association, based in West Bromwich, has secured five years of funding to support the group’s activities, starting with £5,000 in 2018.

The group is using Foundation funding to support a calendar of activities including career support services, community cohesion events, crime prevention strategies and social engagement evenings. The overall aim is to encourage 60 local young people to develop their skills and to become good citizens that are engaged with and are a productive part of the local community.

Edna Dunn, of Essex Avenue Community Tenants and Residents Association, said: “We would like to extend our overwhelming gratitude to the National Express Foundation for supporting the important work of this association and for believing in us. The funding support means that we now have the opportunity to support our young people to become better citizens, have better career aspirations and to deter them from antisocial behaviours through our projects.”

Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said: “We are extremely proud that over the last six years, the National Express Foundation grants have helped over 16,000 young people to enjoy positive, developmental and engaging activities and helped them to gain qualifications and learn new skills.

“We want to support even more young people this year. We’ve therefore launched an additional funding round, to run alongside the projects we’re already supporting from our first programme earlier this year.

“External funding support is extremely limited - especially so in recent years - which is why I would urge all local educational institutions and community groups in the Black Country to make the most of this excellent opportunity and submit an application for Foundation funding.”

To be eligible, groups or educational institutions must be based within the West Midlands. Full guidelines on how to apply and application forms can be found at Applications must be received by Friday 24 August 2018.

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