Westminster Brighter Futures Fund awards over £300k

Young Westminster Foundation is delighted to announce that we have awarded 21 grants totalling £320,000 to youth organisations across Westminster as part of the second round of the Westminster Brighter Futures Fund, in partnership with Westminster City Council. This investment will support Westminster’s young people and their families over the coming 12 months.

Phil Barron, CEO of Young Westminster Foundation, said “the pandemic has disrupted young lives at crucial stages of education and transition. The impact on young people is likely to be intense and long lasting, especially for the most vulnerable. There has never been a more important time to support the youth organisations that provide life-changing support to Westminster’s young people”.

This funding was made available by Westminster City Council, with further contributions from Colas Rail, Landsec, Shaftesbury PLC, The Mercers’ Company, St Giles & St George, Howard De Walden Estate, Great Portland Estates, Capco, Total Media and Logicor. The investment in youth services sits at the heart of the Council’s ambition to create a City for All and contributes to the growing community of like-minded stakeholders investing in young people in Westminster.

The Young Westminster community would like to thank all of our contributing partners who recognise the importance of investing in young people and help to build an even stronger community in Westminster through cross-sector collaboration.

This grants programme builds upon the findings of YWF’s report A City within a City. It has been designed to respond to the identified needs of young people in Westminster, to allow providers to work with Youth and Family Hubs across Westminster and to test approaches to engaging and supporting young people and to sign up to Westminster City Council’s Early Help Strategy 2019 – 2022.

Young people were invited to join the grants panel, held virtually this year. Mollie, who attends St Andrew’s Youth Club in the south of the borough commented, “I enjoyed taking part as I learnt lots about the work that goes into funding youth clubs. I found the process extremely interesting as you look deeply into the history of the club and how they plan to use the funding”.

Another local young person who fed into the decision making, Clayton, said “working with YWF has enabled me to do peer research around the priorities and issues faced by young people in Westminster in the current circumstances. I was then able to share this insight with the grants panel to give my views on the allocation of funding available to youth services – allowing young people to have a direct influence on youth matters!”

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, it became even more apparent that the youth sector needs access to sustainable funding to give them capacity to strengthen their organisations. This year a new ‘Strengthening The Youth Sector’ funding stream was set up as part of the Brighter Futures Fund. Young Westminster Foundation and Westminster City Council wanted to give five local youth organisations the space to develop their offer, strengthen their operating models and give some sort of security and space to navigate these difficult times; with the aim to build centres of excellence in relation to youth provision to become leaders in supporting the development of the sector across London.

Jayne Vertkin, Head of Early Help for Westminster City Council added “the Brighter Futures Fund has again demonstrated that the  effective partnership between Westminster City Council and the Young Westminster Foundation can bring a range of new and aspirational opportunities for young people in the borough. This partnership also ensures that new projects are well integrated into existing provision which has created a more consistent and joined up offer for young people enhanced by enrichment activities.”

The Young Westminster Members who have been awarded funding are:

  • Bloomsbury Football
    – Weekly girls football sessions at Fourth Feathers Youth & Community Centre and open football sessions at Ebury Estate
  • Caxton Youth Organisation
    – Employment support programme for young people with disabilities
    – Strengthening The Sector’ grant recipient
  • SouthWest Fest
    – Digital filmmaking workshops and a screening event for young people and their families
  • Sport 4 Health
    Year-long programme of sports activity for further education students living in Westminster
  • DreamArts
    – Creative programme supporting young people to explore performance and develop their own work
    – ‘Strengthening The Sector’ grant recipient
  • Street Doctors
    Emergency first aid training for young people affected by violence in Westminster
  • The Screen Community
    – Online training for young people to learn film and tv production skills alongside games design and coding
  • 2-3 Degrees
    – New online platform for highlighting jobs, training and opportunities from Westminster employers for young people
  • Avenues Youth Project
    – Weekly ‘Freestyle Friday’ open-access evenings and activities for senior members at the youth centre
  • Floating Classroom
    – 6-day summer holiday project for families of youth club members to explore the waterways
    – ‘Strengthening The Sector’ grant recipient
  • Fourth Feathers Youth & Community Centre
    – School holiday activity programme for young people
  • Paddington Arts
    – Poetry slam and live streaming event for young people experiencing anxiety or mental health concerns
  • Paddington Development Trust
    – Creative youth programme at Grand Junction including workshops and a performance festival
  • St Andrew’s Youth Club
    Holiday clubs for young people over February half term and Easter breaks
  • West London Zone
    Funding a link worker for pupils at King Solomon Academy
  • Westbourne Family Centre
    – Skills for life workshops for young people in the local community
  • Westminster Befriend A Family
    – ‘Strengthening The Sector’ grant recipient
  • Marylebone Bangladesh Society
    – ‘Strengthening The Sector’ grant recipient

If you are interested in supporting The Westminster Brighter Futures Fund please contact phil@youngwestminster.com


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