Young Persons Opportunity Fund
The Young Persons Opportunity Fund was established by a generous couple who remain anonymous, and its focusses on supporting young people across the county from challenging backgrounds. In 2021, it awarded its first grants to support the development on young people in West Cumbria. The generous fund holder said: “After a very tough year of lockdowns, disrupted education and outdoor activities, we are really keen to support young people getting back on their feet and for the fund to offer opportunities for personal development.”
The Outdoor Partnership, a charity that offers equipment and qualifications in activities such as kayaking and climbing, received £19,989 to engage young people in Allerdale and Copeland in outdoor activities. By working with local youth organisations and schools, more than a 100 young people will access paddle boarding and cycling opportunities while receiving accredited qualifications. Some of the participants will be encouraged to continue their development through volunteering, coaching and be supported into employment in the outdoor sector.
Claire Bryant, Outdoor Activities Development Officer Cumbria said: “This award will enable us to deliver development sessions in partnership with local providers. The development sessions will be based on paddle sport and outdoor activities, finishing with a first aid or safety course, ensuring young people can access the outdoors safely. A legacy will be left with a fleet of Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUP) provided to Copeland Canoe Club, to enable them to continue people’s paddling experiences.”
“The project will support young people’s health and wellbeing, tackling the effects of loneliness and isolation through sport and physical activity. It will also help improve people’s mental health through access to green spaces and improve their confidence and self-esteem through outdoor activities. We are delighted to be able to support young people across the coastal Cumbria area.”
Cockermouth Rugby Union Football Club received £2,674 to develop young people into junior sports coaches. Over the course of an academic year, 10 young people from Cockermouth School will access training, development and volunteering opportunities. They will help deliver sporting sessions to younger children and be supported to volunteer at local clubs and organisations.
Chris Wright, Head Coach at Cockermouth Rugby Union Football Club, said: “Our Elite star programme is designed to support and encourage young people to develop their leadership skills and volunteer in their community. The young people will be recruited will look to develop self-confidence, organisational skills, coaching skills and event management.
“Head of PE at Cockermouth School, Mr Charters was pleased to support the programme due to their current sport leaders missing out on so much due to the pandemic. This will be a great opportunity for young people to build their CVS, networks and employability in the future.”
Projects must have an emphasis on using the outdoors to expand horizons and self-confidence and work with specific groups of young people over a period rather than single one-off sessions or events. Funding will also support the development of leadership qualities in young people, especially those who have the potential to inspire their peer group and/or their own communities.