Largest ever grants made by the National Express Foundation to support young people
The National Express Foundation, a charity that helps disadvantaged young people, has today announced a total of £242,760 in community grant and educational bursary funding awards to support local young people in the West Midlands and Kent.
Since it was launched in 2012, Foundation funding has already helped over 14,000 young people. This year’s funding is expected to benefit a further 2,000 young people by supporting them with the cost of their studies and also helping groups to deliver educational and developmental activities for youth in the community.
£160,260 of the total funding has been awarded to 13 community groups across Birmingham, the Black Country and Kent. A further £20,000 will support West Bromwich group Essex Avenue Community Tenants and Residents Association over the next five years.
Edna Dunn from Essex Avenue Community Tenants and Residents Association, said:
“On behalf of our association and the tenants and residents we represent, we would like to extend our overwhelming gratitude to the National Express Foundation for supporting the important work of this association and for believing in us.
“The funding support means that we have the opportunity to acquire the resources to support our young people to become better citizens, have better career aspirations and to deter them from antisocial behaviours through our projects.”
Tara Sobowale from the Tara Martins Community Project, said:
“We would like to say a huge thank you to the National Express Foundation for supporting our 2018 work experience programme. It is designed to enable the increasing number of young unemployed people get into work and training and follows on from the previous youth engagement programme which was also made possible by a grant from the National Express Foundation.
“We are sure that with this year's grant we will be helping many more young people and creating an even greater positive impact in our community.”
Nigel Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Sheppey Matters, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that the National Express Foundation is funding our project for young people on the Isle of Sheppey. The course is designed for an informal approach to attract young people, who may be having or have had a negative educational experience, to participate in a positive pathway into employment or further education.
“The Foundation funding, supported by the Sheppey Matters youth team, will give them the encouragement, skills and qualifications to achieve a more positive and confident outlook for their future.”
Aston University has also secured a new £10,000 bursary to support 20 students with living expenses whilst undertaking unpaid healthcare placements. This is in addition to Aston’s final instalment of a previous three-year bursary to support 30 young unpaid adult carers during their studies.
Dominic Riordan from Student and Academic Services at Aston University, said:
“The grant from the National Express Foundation will be used to support a number of students from low income families who are undertaking year-long unpaid placements as part of their studies within the School of Life and Health Sciences.
“The individual awards given to these students, studying healthcare-related courses such as Psychology, Audiology and Biomedical Sciences, will be used to supplement living costs while living and working away from Birmingham.
“Aston University is delighted to have been awarded a grant from the National Express Foundation and looks forward to working together in the future.”
Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said:
“We are delighted to announce the National Express Foundation funding awards for 2018. Over £240,000 of funding will help deliver even more positive and developmental activities for local young people and help those who might not otherwise be able to continue with their studies in further and higher education.
“We are very proud of the support we’ve been able to provide for young people in the communities that we serve and we look forward to working with this year’s grant recipients to develop the skills and activities that will help local young people succeed in life.”
The full list of community groups to benefit from the Foundation’s community grant funding in 2018 are:
- Balsall Heath CATS, Birmingham: £5,000
- Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham: £10,000
- Essex Avenue Community Tenants and Residents Association, West Bromwich: £20,000 *over 5 years
- Heart and Soul Community CIC, Wolverhampton: £10,000
- Gospel Oak Community Centre, Birmingham: £10,000
- Kids In Communication, Walsall and Wolverhampton: £20,000
- New Heights Warren Farm Community Project, Birmingham: £5,000
- New Life Resource Centre CIC, Walsall: £10,000
- Sheppey Matters, Kent: £10,000
- Smethwick Youth and Community Centre, Smethwick: £10,260
- Tara Martins Community Project: £10,000
- The Vine Trust Walsall, Walsall: £20,000
- The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, Birmingham: £10,000
- Walsall Creative Factory CIC, Walsall: £10,000
Five other colleges and universities receiving the second and third year instalments of their annual bursaries are Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Warwick, University of Wolverhampton and Walsall College.
Three community groups are also receiving a combined £12,500 in their final year instalments of previous two and three year grants. These are Olio Hub in Darlaston, Lee Chapel North Helping Hands in Basildon, and Holding On Letting Go in Kent.
For full details of the respective projects and bursary programmes supported by Foundation funding this year please visit www.nationalexpressgroup.com/foundation.