‘Team Suffolk’ steps up with £150,000 for a Youth Intervention Fund to empower young people

A collaboration between Suffolk Community Foundation, Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore and Suffolk philanthropists has taken action on the findings of a research projects which asked Suffolk young people about the challenges they face and the support they need.

Concerns raised included: inclusion in decision making, knowledge and accessibility to services and development of safe, supportive social spaces. Young people also felt they should be considered as part of the solution and be included in the development, design and delivery of youth provision across Suffolk.

With knife crime being just one of several major issues hitting the headlines, private donors, The Diocese, University of Suffolk, Ipswich Opportunity Area, The Lieutenancy, The New Anglia LEP and Suffolk Community Foundation in consultation with a number of other organisations came together to support the research – in close consultation with 75 young people from across the county.

An initial match fund pledge of £50K from Suffolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore started the ball rolling. Working with the Foundation’s Staff and Trustees, further funds were raised from key private and business supporters in Suffolk totalling an additional £100,000.

Tim Passmore, PCC for Suffolk said, “During my term in office I have seen at first-hand some shocking and heart-wrenching situations involving our young people that are completely unbelievable in twenty-first century Suffolk.

“The research shone a light on the issues faced by young people in the county but without appropriate funding to deal with these, this focus would be pointless, so in partnership with the Foundation, Suffolk has pulled together to raise funds to help meet the challenges.”

Thirteen organisations have successfully bid for a share of the fund; each of them committed to meet some of the challenges faced by young people in Suffolk including drugs and alcohol addiction, gang culture and knife crime.

Tim Passmore says, “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the charitable philanthropists who donated so generously, most who wish to remain anonymous, for their fantastic response to this countywide appeal to support the young people of Suffolk.”

Chief Executive of Suffolk Community Foundation Stephen Singleton said ‘”Private individuals, businesses and the public sector in Suffolk have come together to work strategically with the Foundation to address the research findings and ‘up the anti’ on resources available across Suffolk for young people whose lives and futures are in serious jeopardy – creating a ‘Youth Intervention Fund.”

The successful recipients of the fund are:

Alumah CIO
To support Recovery Interventions and counselling for young victims or witnesses of relationship abuse (aged 14-25) and workshops to raise awareness to groups of young people in schools or in a youth group setting (aged 13-18) in Brandon, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Mildenhall.

Catch 22
Benefit area: Haverhill
Towards Haverhill Friday evening sports sessions covering staff and facilities costs for 10 months (40 x 1.5 hour sessions). The projects engages with young people age 10-19 through sport and provides a safe environment for young people to release energy, meet friends and learn new skills.

County Upper Wolves Basketball Club
Benefit area: Brandon, Newmarket, Haverhill, Mildenhall and Bury St Edmunds
To support ‘more than basketball’ offering outreach to young people and providing alternative activities. The outreach offer has been developed in response to a community survey and taster sessions run from the existing club.

Framlingham Area Youth Action Partnership
To support a youth drop in service at Pagent Field for 15-19 year olds. This is an extension of the current service is based at the school and will deliver 2-3 two hour outreach drop in sessions each week where young people can get advice on sexual health, drug issues, mentoring and employment advice.

Ipswich Community Media
Toward South Street Kids, supporting 200 young people (5-12) with a programme of delivery from Westgate Ward Social Club, including film, music, food and health in order to boost confidence, self-awareness and develop team working skills, along with communication and technical skills which will support progression into further opportunities, volunteering and employment.

Just 42
To support a boat building project in partnership with Woodbridge Riverside Trust and Suffolk County Council Children and Young People’s team. The project has already been successfully piloted and the grant will fund 8 people young people not in, or ready to engage in, education, employment or training to learn new skills, increase confidence and self-esteem, and work as a team on a regular weekly activity (21 weekly session and 3 full days).

Level Two Youth Project
Funding will support Level Two’s Safe Supportive Space delivering 7 open access sessions (2 hours) each week in term time and 24 sessions during school holidays for young people (10-25) in Felixstowe.
This provides a safe place for young people aged 10-25 to meet and socialise with their peers at the L2 Youth Hub in the town centre after school, at evenings and at weekends.

Porch Project
Funding will support a new youth worker to extend the Porch Project’s outreach work in Great Cornard and Hadleigh and additionally to educate and inform other local communities about how to set up similar projects.

Suffolk Refugee Support
To support the FAR (For Raising Ambitions for Asylum Seeking and Refugee Young People) project which will enable the young people SRS support to have a greater influence over the activities provided, channel their feedback to statutory services and work to improve their experiences of seeking asylum in the UK.

Suffolk Young People’s Health Project (4YP)
Funding will sustain safe space drop in centres for young people and create capacity to expand their work in Bury St Edmunds, increase outreach work and provide additional group work, ensuring safer communities and providing a ‘home from home’.

Whitton Youth Partnership
To establish a weekly Senior Youth Club (48 sessions a year) for up to 40 young people providing a safe, age appropriate environment and activities, supervised by a minimum of 2 qualified staff and volunteers. Guidance and signposting will enable young people from the Whitton area of Ipswich to make informed choices and provide the opportunity to discuss issues such as drugs and knife crime, steer them away from involvement with the drug gangs and local anti-social behaviour.

YMCA Trinity Group
To support two Shine Schools Workers to visit the majority of schools in Lowestoft delivering 1:1 support, group work and help with transitioning to high school. The support covers a range of issues including lack of engagement within education. Bereavement, mental health issues, family issues, low self-esteem and confidence and is targeted at the most deprived wards in the area.

Young People Taking Action
To support school holiday activities for the hardest to reach young people in the Leiston area. Positive activities will develop team skills and confidence with young people involved in or at risk of being involved in risk taking activities, including ASB, substance misuse, county lines and gang culture.