Last night I learnt some fantastic things about Youth Work in Parton near Whitehaven. But more importantly so did Chris Woodhead, MD, SA Robotics Ltd.
Chris is the newest corporate member of CCF. In conversation Chris mentioned that his company gives charitable donations to local causes, but it felt a bit random and he wanted to do something that was more focused and meaningful.
CCF had recently received a grant application from North Copeland Youth Partnership and I knew they were looking to increase their work with young people by establishing a new youth club in Moresby – right on SA Robotics’ doorstep!
Hence yesterday’s meeting. Matthew (CEO in the making) and Adam (up and coming technical designer) told Chris and I about how members of the youth club had:
· Stopped antisocial behaviour and graffiti in their village
· Carried out a public consultation for a play area for younger kids and then spent 3 years fundraising to buy and install the equipment
· Done loads of fun stuff as well as qualifying as First Aiders.
“I was impressed with the young people I talked with and I now really see the benefit of having such an establishment within any community, it certainly opened my eyes to the good work which goes on in our communities.”
Valda the Youth Development Worker is now looking forward to putting the plans in to action.
“I would like to thank CCF for putting us in contact with Chris at SA Robotics. This will enable us to extend the work that we are doing within the community and offer young people in Moresby more opportunities to take part in youth provision. The support is a fantastic opportunity to link with local businesses who can help us develop what we offer within the community and continue to make changes. Without this service that is offered by the Foundation we would not have known that local businesses would support our organisation.
Two more satisfied customers and a perfect story for this time of giving.
Best wishes to you All for Christmas and the New Year.
One of the things that CCF is proud of is its knowledge of the communities and people of Cumbria. This is a bold statement to make but if you are an individual or business wanting to help people in Cumbria this is exactly the sort of information you need. So how do we know?
Last week I took a call from RWE nPower Renewables who are in the process of setting up a fund to benefit a community close to some new wind turbines.
Already working with us in the south of the county their officer picked up the phone to find out about the community that could benefit from their new fund.
Like others we use Cumbria Observatory Statistics and Parish Profiles to find out numbers of people, their age, income, health, etc. However, at the Foundation we are able to enhance this with information drawn from the grants that we have made. We know that in this particular area the village halls are very active: Age UK advice sessions, Strickly dancing, pilates, painting, local history, mums and toddlers. But the nearest thing to a youth club on offer is the local junior football team, unless someone is going to drive the 7 miles to the nearest town.
In addition the Foundation has recently held a workshop with community workers in West Cumbria where we asked them the question “Which communities do you work in which have real needs but never get any special support from statutory agencies?” This rural community was one of the first to be mentioned – it has a higher level of child poverty than some urban wards who have received special government funding to tackle such issues.
With this sort of information at our finger tips it did not take long for CCF to provide an understanding of the local community and what type of projects would need supporting.