Councillor funding supports local youth projects
Funds contributed from Hertfordshire County Councillor Locality Budgets have helped to support seven youth projects, providing a range of affordable and safe activities that will help increase the health and wellbeing of young people across the county.

Each of the grants provide much needed funds for a range of initiatives and activities and are in line with the Hertfordshire County Council vision to help make a cleaner, greener and healthier Hertfordshire.

Locality Budgets continue to make a positive difference to Hertfordshire communities, with thousands of projects having been funded since the launch of the initiative in 2009. The following grants have a combined value of over £6,500.

London Colney Youth Project – After school project

Cllr Sarah Tallon (St. Albans) has awarded a grant of £500 to support the London Colney Youth project for Years 5, 6 & 7 in providing activities that promote good future health, alongside fun activities.

The funding provided will go towards a yearly trip for the children, covering coach travel and activity costs. The children pay towards the trip, but with the grant costs are kept to a minimum so that all the children concerned can afford to take part.

The project supports children living in London Colney who are living in lower socio-economic households, providing a service for children who may not otherwise have access to the activities provided and is more affordable for families where the parents may have limited means. This will become more important with the cost-of-living increases when many activities could then become inaccessible due to the cost to participate.

The yearly trip is a key part of the service provided. The children have the opportunity to help choose where to go for the trip, and feedback received from children in the past shows how much this project is valued. The attendance numbers are a good indication to show the need as there are 15-25 children attending each week. The children also benefit by having a safe space to meet their friends and learn new skills and information which in turn improves their health and wellbeing.

Cllr Tallon: “Delighted to support the London Colney Youth Project so that children from all backgrounds between 9-12 can take part in the yearly group trip.”

Rickmansworth Cricket Club – Expansion of girls cricket.

Chris Lloyd (Three Rivers) has awarded a grant of £1000 to help with the expansion of girls cricket at Rickmansworth who now have a need for additional equipment and coaching staff. The club has had a lot of success over the last couple years and the ambition is to play teams of girls in the next 3-5 years. The funding will be used for new slip catching equipment and an additional coach during the winter period.

As the club continues to grow the girls cricket team (30 girls playing) the aim is to have a girls team for playing league cricket within 5 years. To do so, additional equipment is needed, and this includes catching nets and a coach to support the girls during the winter to further enhance their technique and skills. Girls cricket is seen as a big part of the club and this investment will really help.

Cllr Lloyd: The Ladies Ashes Tour was really exciting in 2023. This grant will enable the expansion of Girls Cricket at Rickmansworth Cricket. I would like to thank also those involved at the club who have the vision to create this opportunity. The Cricket nets and coach for girls team will be the next step in expanding the opportunities for Girls cricket locally.

Kickoff@3 CIC – Hosting Windrush community football tournament

John Hale (St. Albans) has awarded a grant of £500 to support the delivery of a Windrush community football tournament. The event hosted 20 teams who participated in a seven-a-side football tournament. The funding contributed towards first aid, referees, kit and refreshments on the day. The event was delivered at Oaklands College, Hatfield Road, Oaklands, on Saturday 24th June 2023.

The Windrush community football tournament was an all-day event delivering more than just football. The event included music provided by DJs, food and guest speakers and very importantly brought together various professionals and organisations from across the country with the aim to promote life skills opportunities, employment pathways and provides aspirational activities.

The event offered accessibility for young people to speak and interact with professionals from a range of organisations which was key as it enabled them to engage directly in a safe space allowing them a chance to see the human face behind the uniforms that too often divide communities and ask/discuss key issues that impact on them, for example, violent crime, stop and search, stereotyping and much more. It also provided a landscape for communities to come together, to recognise our commonalities and celebrate what makes us different. It also created a platform to demonstrate the impact the Windrush generation has had on our communities and to celebrate 75 years.

The aim was to increase community cohesion, increase access to employment/training and to educational opportunities, reduce isolation and improve understanding of diversity.

Cllr Hale: This is an important event which brings together the police and the communities they protect so they can learn more about each other in a celebratory atmosphere.

Cheshunt Youth Inclusive – Funding to help with fees and costs at football club for young players with Learning Disabilities.

Dee Hart (Broxbourne) has awarded a grant of £500 to help pay for pitch costs, footballs, trophies, and other training equipment.

Cheshunt Youth Inclusive is for players (12-17 years) with Learning Disabilities from Cheshunt and Waltham Cross. Through the coaching players can learn, develop, make friends, and compete towards the Youth and Senior Inclusive Teams.

The grant will help Cheshunt Youth Inclusive players with learning disabilities overcome disadvantage and provide them with access to play football in a team on an equal platform alongside other teams where players are not normally given a chance to compete in leagues and tournaments and to enjoy their football. Inclusive football is developing around the world, not just locally. These players are now able to play football within an environment where they are under less pressure and can learn to play football at their own pace and make new friends in the process. Any player that wants to join inclusive football clubs are welcomed with open arms, with no judgement or discrimination. That is the purpose of inclusion.

Cllr Hart: I am always pleased to be able to support sport, and in this case football, to young people with disabilities. The Cheshunt Youth Inclusive football club is where young people aged between 12 and 17 years of age can learn, develop and make friends & enjoy the wonderful game of football. I wish the club and all the players Good Luck for the coming season ahead.

West Herts ABC and Educational Support CIC – Boxing coaching classes for children of all backgrounds

Nigel Bell (Watford) has awarded a grant of £500 to help subsidize fees for under privileged children and young people and those who have been affected by the hike in cost of living to continue to take part in boxing lessons during term time.

Situated in a deprived area of Watford, there are few accessible and affordable activities or facilities for young people to get involved in and where youngsters can go to keep them off the streets and be active.

Many of the young people encountered live chaotic lifestyles. When there’s nothing for them to do, these young people, especially young males, usually end up going in the wrong direction e.g. in many cases this leads them to turn to anti-social behaviour, violence, gang affiliation and knife crime.

The ward is also encountering some young males who are (or on the brink) of getting involved in extremism and the majority of those the club works with are disengaged young males from BAME backgrounds and different faiths. The club works towards creating a multi-cultural environment where all faiths are respected.

The boxing coaching delivered is used as a vehicle to improve the physical and mental wellbeing, build strong relationships, and facilitate social inclusion for some of the hardest-to-reach and in-need young males in the area of Central Watford.

Cllr Bell: It pleases me to be able to support West Herts ABC in their important work to give young people a discipline in their life as well as a sport and their aims of keeping youngsters active and on the right track.

Brookside Boys club – Free boxing classes to help combat anti-social behaviour in the local area.

Michelle Vince (Hertsmere) has awarded a grant of £1852.50 to help the club to run after school boxing classes for children aged 11 to 17 years. The club has put together a plan to give free boxing classes to the children to help keep them off the streets and away from any anti-social behaviour.

The boxing classes are designed to teach children discipline and respect, set within a safe environment.

Cllr Vince: Brookside Boxing club is well respected by all ages especially the youth in the town. Ongoing issues with anti-social behaviour has included unsupervised outdoor boxing and the club are engaging with local schools and reaching out to youths in the area to encourage the use of the club’s facilities to help keep local youngsters safe.

Bishop’s Stortford Youth Project – Thirst Youth Cafe

Cllr Calvin Horner (Herts East) has awarded a grant of £1145 to help fund Bishop’s Stortford Youth project to.

Reduce loneliness and help avoid social isolation by providing a safe, welcoming, stimulating space for young people to meet and make friends.
Increase self-confidence and self-esteem by providing safe spaces and opportunities such as a youth volunteer programme.
Improve happiness, wellbeing, and mental health by providing fun activities in a safe, stimulating environment, with professional support as required.
Improve life and social skills and develop potential through fun activities, positive relationships, mentoring and training.
Increase independence as young people transition to adulthood.
Inspire young people to have a voice by providing support and a platform from which to be heard, celebrating young people in the community.
Cllr Horner: “I am really pleased to support Bishop Stortford Youth Project’s youth volunteer programme at Thirst Cafe. Volunteering at any age builds confidence and this is especially important for young adults. Thirst provides a safe and enjoyable space for the children of Bishop’s Stortford; the volunteers get the opportunity to contribute to this themselves whilst developing skills that will be really valuable throughout life.”

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