Foundation increases funding by 50% to support thousands more local youngsters
Youngsters across the West Midlands could benefit from thousands of pounds of extra funding from the National Express Foundation.
Since its launch in 2012, the Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds which has helped over 8,000 young people enjoy exciting and engaging activities and to continue with their education.
To build on the success of the charity’s support for local young people over the last four years, the amount of funding available for 2016 has now been increased by 50% to a total of £150,000. As a result, thousands more youngsters will benefit.
The Foundation provides grants of £2,500 or £5,000 to support local community groups that will provide positive and engaging activities for young people in deprived areas.
Community groups are not the only ones to benefit from Foundation funding, as local colleges and universities can also apply for grants of £10,000 per year towards innovative bursary schemes which help students from disadvantaged backgrounds continue in further or higher education.
To be eligible, groups or educational institutions must be based within the West Midlands. Full guidelines on how to apply and application forms can be found at www.nationalexpressgroup.com/foundation.
Applications for funding must be received by midday on Friday 18 March 2016.
Disability Resource Centre is a group that was established to empower disabled people to seek ways in which they can reduce or remove disabling barriers which prevent them from achieving their full potential. They received a £2,500 National Express Foundation grant last year. The funding supported ten workshops which raised awareness about bullying and harassment of disabled people and to improve understanding and empathy about the lives of disabled friends.
Peter Millington, from Disability Resource Centre, said: “This has been a very successful project with over 170 young people taking part. We must thank our funder, the National Express Foundation, for supporting us. We are delighted with the project legacy, which is the publication of a resource and training guide, providing us with an opportunity to bring together previously tried and tested materials and learning ideas which can now be made more widely available to others.”
Handsworth Carers Group is a small voluntary multi-cultural organisation that provides support to young unpaid carers. They used a £2,500 grant to fund their New Generation project which engaged young carers aged 15-25 at risk of long-term unemployment. The funding supported training, employment support and mentoring which is something they may not have otherwise been able to access due to their carer responsibilities.
Elona Williams, from Handsworth Carers Group, said: “The project was a huge success and the take up of young people was more than we originally anticipated, showing that there is a high demand for support. We were able to help many young people take part in a variety of skills-based training, career pathway development workshops, and to maintain a positive approach to working life and further career developments. Feedback has shown that the youngsters want to continue with workshop sessions and we continue to offer guidance to enable our local young people to maintain a clear focus and become economically active. On behalf of the New Generation project we would like to give our thanks to the National Express Foundation for awarding us our funding.”
Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said:
“Each year the number of funding applications we receive increases and last year we saw a record 150% increase compared with 2014 numbers. We’re delighted that over the last four years the National Express Foundation has been able to support over 8,000 youngsters. This year we’re really pleased to announce that we have an increased £150,000 of funding available to help even more local young people in our community so I would urge all local educational institutions and community groups to put in an application for funding.”