Oxford City Council’s in-house youth team has helped more than 6,916 young people over the last four years by giving out £190,000 worth of grants every year.
Since the Youth Ambition Team was created in 2013, it has provided 660,000 worth of grants to community and voluntary groups and individuals.
The Youth Ambition Team provides two sets of grants every year:
- A £130,000 grant pot to help organisations and individuals provide activities during school holidays for young people aged eight to 19
- A £60,000 grant pot to help voluntary and community groups provide targeted work for young people to help them with issues related to employment, mental health, anti-social behaviour or sexual health
Projects funded through the two grants programmes include:
- £10,000 to Donnington Doorstep to contribute towards supporting children and young people at risk of child sexual exploitation
- £7,500 to VIVA Network to contribute towards engaging with 15 vulnerable young people to give them the opportunity to achieve accredited training
- £6,740 to Yellow Submarine for weekly social evenings for disabled young people to help them build social skills and independence
- £6,282 to Oxfordshire Youth to contribute towards workshops for young girls at Cheney School on health, relationships and empowerment
- £5,000 to Leys Community Development Initiative to contribute towards youth sessions targeting girls and young women in Blackbird Leys
Along with the grants pot, the Youth Ambition Team also runs its own programme of support services and youth clubs.
The aim of the team is to encourage young people from Oxford’s disadvantaged communities to broaden their knowledge and skills through informal learning.
The young people are also heavily involved in the Youth Ambition Team’s work and decision making, including recruiting staff and deciding on the grant recipients.
Since 2013, the team has worked with 25,763 young people.
The Youth Ambition Team won the best sports development team of the year at Oxfordshire’s Sports Awards in 2016, and was named runner up for the best local authority team at the Children and Young People’s Now Awards in 2016.
The team’s work saves the city about £13m every year by improving young people’s health and wellbeing, reducing anti-social behaviour and promoting community cohesion.
The figure is calculated using government research, which calculates the social return on investment. The research suggests that for every £1 spent, there is a saving to society of £52.
Despite being a relatively affluent area overall, Oxford has pockets of deprivation and, after adjusting for housing costs, 25 per cent of children in Oxford live below the poverty line.
Councillor Pat Kennedy, Executive Board Member for Youth People, Schools and Skills, said: “The City Council is proud of its record of continuing to support young people through its annual grant scheme.
“The varied projects build self-confidence, provide opportunities to develop friendships, expand cultural horizons and are good fun for the participants.”