Kempsey PCC and South Worcestershire Action for Youth (SWAY), a community group set up by local churches, have received two National Lottery Community Fund Grants for work with young people.
Kempsey PCC’s grant of £10,000 has been awarded to help bring local people together and build strong relationships, especially between the different generations and to improve the environment of the village by reducing low level anti-social behaviour. The grant will help to employ an experienced youth worker to who will working alongside other agencies in the community to make contact with a targeted group of young people. The funds will also facilitate the purchase of a portacabin which will be adapted for use as a dedicated space where the young people of Kempsey can meet and socialise.
A grouping of local churches working under the banner of South Worcestershire Action for Youth has also been successful in a bid for £9,700 for positive youth activities in the Kempsey, Norton and St Peter’s area. The project will involve local ‘Rock’ musicians who will work with local teenagers to teach them guitar, keyboard, drumming, vocals and singing, both solo and as small backing harmonies; the project will also offer the opportunity for teenagers who have some musical skills already to form a band(s) and perform to live audiences at local open mic evenings. The project will operate at St Mary’s Church and Norton Youth Club.
The Revd Mark Badger helped initiate these projects. He said: “I am delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund has decided to aid us in our work to support local young people. Despite the continued expansion of the local population, there is little dedicated provision for teenagers within our community and this is leading to a rise in anti-social behaviour and negative perceptions of young people.
“The Church has been working for some time in an effort to address these issues and our young people continually a desire for a place to go and for things to do. I often hear young people say this such as:
- ‘There is nothing around here for us to do and nowhere we can meet without getting told off or shifted.It would be great to have somewhere to hang out.’
- ‘It would be good to have somewhere to god and someone I can speak to if I have any problems’
- “I think having somewhere to meet and someone on our side would help a lot and help me how to deal with situations and control my anger”
“These grants from the will enable us to provide much needed facilities and support for our young people and we hope aid the development of a stronger safer community too.”