National Express Foundation extends funding support for youngsters in Kent
Youngsters across the West Midlands and Medway, Gravesend and Longfield areas of Kent could benefit from thousands of pounds of funding from the National Express Foundation.
Last year the charity extended its funding for youngsters in Medway, Kent and this year even more youngsters could benefit as the National Express Foundation has further increased its support to Kent’s Gravesend and Longfield areas.
Since its launch in 2012, the Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds which has helped over 11,000 young people enjoy exciting and engaging activities and to continue with their education.
To build on this success the Foundation is this year extending its funding support to a larger part of the Kent region, reflecting the area served by Clarkes Commuter, the local coach commuter service recently acquired by National Express UK Coach.
The charity has now opened for 2017 applications and is offering local educational institutions and community groups the opportunity to bid for grants out of the £150,000 funding available.
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, or within Kent’s ME1-ME12, ME14, DA3, DA11, DA12 or DA13 postal codes. Full guidelines on how to apply and application forms can be found at www.nationalexpressgroup.com/foundation.
Applications for funding must be received by Friday 10 March 2017.
Hall Green Youth in Birmingham used a £2,500 grant to fund a new weekly after-school youth group called Just Us Girls, providing a safe and positive environment for 11-18 year old girls to take part in activities such as arts, cooking, drama and team building workshops.
Hall Green Youth Trustee Sarah Barnes said:
“We really valued all of the support - financial, encouragement and networking opportunities with other groups - from the National Express Foundation. The grant meant that we were able to establish a community girls group in an area where there was previously nothing for them to do. The girls really value the group as it provides a place where they can just be themselves and do positive things. For example, the girls decided to organise a Christmas event, made and then sold lots of different crafts which raised £115 for a local homelessness charity.”
Last year Sheppey Matters was the first Kent-based group to receive funding from the National Express Foundation. A £5,000 grant supported the cost of running a community chef project on the Isle of Sheppey.
Mike Spackman from Sheppey Matters said:
“It was great when we heard that the National Express Foundation had agreed to support the community chef project on the Isle of Sheppey. The project has worked tirelessly in schools and children’s centres in the area over the last nine or ten years and the funding helped the community chef to reach the more remote and isolated community on the Isle of Sheppey using his colourful food truck and small team of volunteers.
“In partnership with Fareshare (Kent), a charitable food re-distribution initiative, the project made effective use of food otherwise destined for landfill and used it in ways that showed families on the island how best to use the simplest of ingredients, many of which are fresh, to create a variety of affordable, nutritionally balanced and tasty family meals.”
Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said:
“We are extremely proud that over the last five years, the National Express Foundation grants have helped over 11,000 young people enjoy exciting and engaging activities and helped them to gain qualifications and learn new skills. This year we’re really pleased to be able to extend our support to Kent’s Gravesend and Longfield areas to help even more local young people in the communities that we serve. I would urge all local educational institutions and community groups to submit an application for funding.”