Young people from fifteen deprived neighbourhoods have started working on local community projects designed to help them raise their ambitions, broaden their horizons, and unlock their talents, Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton announced today.
The projects are part of a £10million Government programme set up to raise the aspirations of 11-14 year olds and their parents across England. The projects funded include youngsters helping local builders renovate a run down property in South Tyneside, working with a world famous orchestra to create a new piece of music, going behind the scenes at the ballet, developing living history projects, and getting a taste of university life.
The Inspiring Communities initiative builds on the Government's commitment to tackling inequality - and building a society where everyone regardless of their background is able to develop their talents and gain the skills which will help to transform their lives. To support this, the Government has recently set out measures to improve social mobility including a pledge to secure work experience in top professions for 10,000 students from 'modest income' families. This will include a national career mentoring scheme, aimed at schools where few go into higher education.
All the Inspiring Communities projects are being led by local communities - schools, colleges, businesses, and third sector - who working together support and help youngsters on the road to success by giving them work and educational experiences. The activities aim to:
• broaden young people’s horizons – in Barnsley there are plans to hold family careers events, university taster sessions and twinning with Newham in London for activities linked to the 2012 Olympics;
• provide inspiration and advice to young people – in Bristol a youth council is being established to give young people a voice to increase their self esteem;
• Raise parents’ own aspirations and self confidence – in South Tyneside a ‘DIY SOS’ project is enabling young people and their parents to work with skilled professionals to renovate a run down residential property, gaining qualifications;
• Develop strong social networks in and beyond communities, raising community pride in young people and drawing out talents of the community to support young people – the ‘Reclaim Gorton’ project in Manchester aims to reduce the fear of crime in the area, and a classical performance by the Manchester Camerata orchestra with young people taking part for a television documentary will draw out hidden talents.
Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton today visited South Shields Community School Business Enterprise Centre to see first hand the work of the East Shields Neighbourhood Partnership where young people will get the chance to develop skills of use in the work place and also undertake team building activities outside. She said:
"All young people deserve the chance to see what they are capable of and the opportunities open to them, and that is what Inspiring Communities initiative is designed to do. It will enable youngsters, no matter where they live or their social background, to fulfill their potential.
"This funding goes to support community-led projects that will best uncover and foster young people's talents. Funding will help young people broaden their horizons, grow in confidence and learn about opportunities that are available to them.
"I am grateful to those people, business and organisations who are willing to give their time and experience to giving young people a chance."
Inspiring Communities is a joint initiative from Communities and Local Government, The Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Cabinet Office. It has also secured support right across Whitehall, with a further 11 Government departments committed to encouraging ambitious and creative work locally.
Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said:
“We want make sure England is the best place in the world for young people to grow up. This means supporting every young person, including those living in the most deprived areas, to ensure they get a great education that meets their needs and aspirations.
“Everyone in the local community can play their part in helping young people to see what they could achieve at and beyond school. The Inspiring Communities initiative gives young people taking part the support they need to help motivate them and raise their aspirations. It will help them make progress, develop new skills and raise their educational attainment, and so it’s great to see so many groups and organisations supporting these projects.”
Minister for the Third Sector Angela Smith said:
"I am really pleased that the Inspiring Communities programme is delivering opportunities for young people to raise their aspirations and take part in positive activities. It is an excellent example of how cross government working can bring about real change and help young people achieve their full potential.
"Volunteering, which is a core element of the programme, can boost morale, help young people learn practical skills and encourages community engagement. All of this is helping to raise the skills and aspirations of our young people."
Notes to editors
1. The list of Inspiring Communities projects are:
Barking and Dagenham - Heath Ward: activities will include community gardening, local living history projects to bring young and older people together to share experiences, parental support and advice services, podcast development and volunteer mentoring.
Barnsley - Kendray and Worsbough Bank End: activities include a parental advice services including financial management, twinning with Newham in London for activities linked to the 2012 Olympics and university visits.
Blackburn with Darwen - Darwen Central: activities include role model programmes to meet local entrepreneurs, parental advice, and open the door programmes with visits to local and national companies.
Bolton - Tonge with the Haulgh: activities include a performing arts programme with the Halle Orchestra and the English National Ballet, peer tutor training for young people, and safe study zones to do school homework.
Bradford - IN Community (East Bradford): activities include designing and building a house, developing a photographic history of the area bringing young and older people together, and twinning and exchange visits with schools elsewhere in England and France.
Bristol - Henbury: activities include creating a youth council to give young people a voice to increase their self esteem, young people helping the elderly to use computers to bridge the generational divide, and parental support advisers.
Cumbria - Central and Hindpool: activities include developing coaching, mentoring and developing self-esteem through street sport programmes, junior street wardens schemes, making a documentary film about the local area, and learning via participation in the arts.
Kent - East Folkestone (Shepway): activities include arranging visits to workplaces, involvement in the Folkestone triennial exhibition of contemporary art, a youth and sports leaders training programme to develop leadership skills and 'Dragon's Den' type activities.
Lancashire - Colne Primet: activities include role model programmes, parental advisers, and visits to universities and family support outreach services.
Manchester - Gorton South: activities include developing a parent's network, Saturday school classes, and a classical performance by the Manchester Camerata Orchestra with young people taking part for a television documentary to unlock hidden talents.
Norfolk - Saxon and Abbey Wards,Thetford: activities include opening a community café as a social enterprise that will act as a vibrant focal point and provide training opportunities in catering and other skills including podcast development and growing vegetables through an associated gardening project.
North East Lincolnshire - The Willows: activities include self esteem and self confidence building programmes for parents and children, a Dragons Den and The Apprentice type business activities.
Rotherham - Rawmarsh: activities include parent mentoring, a children's summer university programme through twinning with Valencia in Spain, and youth park wardens to develop responsibility and self esteem.
South Tyneside - East Shields: a ‘DIY SOS’ project is enabling young people and their parents to work with skilled professionals to renovate a run down residential property and gain qualifications.
Stoke on Trent - Dresden, Normacot and Florence: activities include careers information packs for parents to help their children, and a family firefighters programme – for parents and children - that builds self esteem and develops team work and interpersonal skills.
2. Funding for these projects was announced by Communities and Local Government in August 2009.
3. The report Unleashing Aspiration was published in July 2009 by the Cabinet Office: www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/accessprofessions
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