Back in August 2020, Essex was awarded £98,101 from the Home Office Vulnerable Children’s Charity Fund. The VVU invited groups to apply for funding to continue their support for vulnerable young people at risk of violence, during the Covid-19 Pandemic. For example, by adapting support services if necessary by using remote working and technology.
Working jointly with Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services and Essex Boys and Girls Club the VVU invited small charities across the county to apply for funds from the Home Office Vulnerable Children’s Charity Fund. The VVU awarded funds to 14 small charities who provide critical frontline services for children and young people.
Some of the great work included youth workers at Bar N Bus working throughout the summer holidays to provide a range of positive activity programmes for young people. The activities included 23 Detached Youth Work Sessions; Four Outreach Events (street artists and football coaching); a three day football ‘bootcamp’ for young people from the Avenues area of Canvey Island and 33 1-2-1 support sessions linked with local secondary schools in South Essex.
Young people spoke to youth workers about a range of issues, from concerns around exams, education and the future, through to healthy living, hobbies and leisure. Conversations were also held on topics such as substance misuse, gangs and criminal behaviour and mental health.
Young people in Canvey Island explored their passion for the Arts, while gaining the Arts Award qualification, thanks to the London Bus Theatre company. The Arts Award is a great way for the young people to boost their confidence, develop transferable life skills, make new friends and combat loneliness. It is hoped that 30 young people will gain the award.
Chelmsford 5th/9th Scout Group used funding to help pay for much needed maintenance on the Scout Hut roof and pay the insurance on the Scout Hut which the Group had been struggling to pay due to the loss of, and reduction in, subs income through not being allowed to meet fully due to Covid-19. This funding has meant that the group has been able to stay active, secure their meeting venue for the future and still provide small and online meetings.
Waltham Abbey Youth (WAY2000) activities stopped when lockdown started but there was still a need to support the town’s young people, so funding was used to increase the group’s counsellor hours who established a programme to keep in touch with young people who were struggling. Using emails, phone, text and letters the young people were contacted regularly, and given activities and workbooks to complete to keep their aspirations alive and to promote relaxation and exercise as crucial in dealing with stress and anxiety. From the start of lockdown to the end of September, 41 students were supported, with over 1300 contacts made.
In Harlow over 200 children were supported during the summer by Changing Lives, Roots to Wellbeing programme. The Roots to Wellbeing sessions were designed to support young people struggling during the Coronavirus Pandemic by addressing issues around confidence, creativity, relaxation, worry and anxiety, and sleep problems.
Proximity Schools used funding to adapt their support offer for young people, so they could still work with young people and their families during the Pandemic. This work included mentoring, webinars on anxiety – for young people and their parents – and providing tuition for students who wanted extra support following lockdown.
|Name||Location||Amount of funding|
|ATF (Achievement Through Football) Southend||Southend||£6,504.87|
|Chelmsford 5th/9th Scout Group||Chelmsford||£7,729.63|
|GEI (Girls Empowerment Initiative)||Basildon||£13,800.00|
|London Bus Company||All Essex||£5,850.00|
|NOO YU||All Essex||£8,123.10|
|Refugee Action – Colchester||Colchester||£900.00|
|SAFE Supporting Asperger Families in Essex||All Essex||£4,841.52|
|Seabrooke Community Association||Thurrock||£7,000.00|
|Waltham Abbey Youth 2000||Waltham Abbey||£7,000.00|