MALVERN’S Colwall Youth Project has been awarded £227,668 over three years by the National Lottery Community Fund to secure its future.
The Youth In The Lead scheme will see the continuation and additional hours for two youth workers, additional project staffing support and further core expenses / project costs.
A temporary new home for the youth project will be placed on the Silver Street site in Colwall.
As part of the plans, a detailed feasibility study will be carried out with a view to developing the Silver Street site as a permanent youth hub for young people across the district.
The additional staffing hours will enable the centre to put on more youth sessions and activities five days-a-week not only within the youth project itself, but also in the local community through outreach, detached youth work and targeted project delivery in local schools.
The project will also be better supported with direct social media engagement hours, as many young people engage across various social media platforms.
The focus on these communication methods will enable the centre to work with young people considered ‘hard to reach’.
The temporary building is key to allowing CYP to grow as a project, in the simplest terms it will allow the young people to feel valued.
CYP said: “We have found that even in the planning stages of this project, the simple idea of having a youth designed space that they can take ownership of has given young people a focus during the stressful time of Covid.
“The dedication of the National Lottery to support them in having a home away from home has made the young people feel like they are truly apart of and cared for by their community.
“We have explained to the young people that Colwall Community Churches main focus is to put young people first, they know that they have the final say, that they will always be listened to and that the community is there for them, and will always put their needs, mental health and comfort first.
“The young people are excited to create a future for their younger siblings, peers and all that will benefit in the future.”
They added this was a project for both the present and future to ensure CYP was always going to be the voice of young people in the rural area.
With regard to the feasibility study, the young people will be able to take stock, plan and ultimately transform this quiet and sleepy area into a vibrant and revitalised community.
The aim is to develop a plan, and design a youth representative permanent youth hub.
Colwall Youth Projects’ Director of Youth Provision Alice Hill said: “I am absolutely ecstatic to be sharing such fantastic news with our local and wider communities.
“This funding will make such a difference to our project and the young people and families that we support.
“This process has not been short, but has been completely worth the wait and I would like to express my greatest thanks on behalf of everyone at CYP to the National Lottery Community Fund.
“I cannot express enough the passion and dedication of my youth work team.
“Their determination makes me incredibly proud.”
Colwall Youth Project offers a safe place for young people aged between nine and 18, where they can find acceptance, friendship and support both emotionally, socially and with their educational development.
The CYP aspiration is that the service users acquire better self-esteem and self-confidence, a greater ability to relate well to others and so move towards fulfilling their potential.
CYPs’ main goal is to be a safe haven for the young people it serves.
Colwall Youth Project started in 2016 as an in-house Colwall Community Church Project to support teenagers within the local community.
Initially CYP was run by members of the church leadership team and a team of volunteers. The club soon attracted young people with a variety of different needs in the village and surrounding areas.
However, by 2019 the numbers had grown beyond what was sustainable by the existing volunteer team, so the church took the decision to apply
for external funding from BBC Children in Need along with additional support from the National Lottery Awards for All, the Eveson Community Foundation, Woodward Charitable trust and Asda bags of help.
CYP is all-inclusive youth service that does not seek to promote religion.
CYP is now run by our director of youth provision, Alice Hill – an experienced youth worker, who is supported by a team of youth workers, mental health youth workers, and volunteers.
In 2020, CYP formed a partnership with the Counselling, Learning, and Development Trust and together are running a mental health and wellbeing support service for young people across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Colwall Community Church remains the parent organisation, supporters and volunteers of the project.
Without the church CYP would not be able to meet the diverse needs of children, young people, and families in our local and wider community.
The experienced team of Youth Workers provide an accessible, friendly and safe environment for all young people.
This service is delivered through drop-in sessions, one-to-one support, mental health and wellbeing support, targeted activities, school holiday activities, educational support, open access sessions, skills4life workshops, positive activities, and continued empowerment.
The project has one goal in mind, to offer a ‘safe haven’ for all young people.
The project is growing fast, with young people traveling from far and wide to access the support and safety of the project, and the leader and youth workers are proud to say their our goal of being a safe haven is truly being delivered.