Supporting Bedford’s young people
bpha is a founding member and funding partner of Bedford Giving, a new movement to help create a brighter future for local young people. bpha’s External Affairs Director, Eddie Kelly, has also joined Bedford Giving’s Board.
Eight partners, including bpha, have come together to launch a range of projects to make a difference for children and young people in our community.
Bedford Giving was inspired by similar successful place-based schemes, including Islington Giving. We hope that Bedford Giving will become the largest of its kind outside London, and increase the fairness of opportunity for more local young people.
To set its strategy, Bedford Giving consulted over 500 residents of all ages and backgrounds, including more than 200 young people. Children and young people were identified as the group who most needed support. Among young people, more than half of comments expressed a desire for vocational support, including opportunities for work, apprenticeships, and work placements.
There are three key projects:
volunteers who will mentor young people at risk of dropping out or underachieving at school. Bedford Giving would like to recruit 40 volunteer mentors.
identifying organisations who will offer work experience to young people who don’t have networks to help get them this experience – according to Bedford Giving, young people who have done work experience are less likely to become unemployed.
Bedford Giving has brought together parents of children under 8 to share knowledge on their and their children’s needs, and agree funding decisions on £80,000 in grants for local organisations. The parent panel wants to encourage smaller community groups, charitable playgroups and unregistered charities to come forward to apply for funding.
You can find out more about Bedford Giving at www.bedfordgiving.org.uk , including how you can become a mentor.