MORE than £32,000 has been awarded to groups in Dorset to encourage and inspire young people through sport and physical activity.
Dorset Community Foundation teamed up with Made By Sport, a national charity which raises awareness of the power of playing and competing, to distribute grants to clubs and groups working with young people to develop life skills, improve job prospects or reduce anti-social behaviour and crime.
Among the recipients is Poole Sailability, which gives young people with disabilities the opportunity to go sailing in Poole Harbour. It received £2,021 to help it recover from the pandemic after it lost vital income in the lockdowns.
The group works with Bournemouth and Poole College to take out its young people with learning difficulties and also with young carers.
“We usually get income from other organisations but because they’ve all been closed own so we are very grateful for the grant,” said trustee Peter Davies.
SturYouth Club in Sturminster Newton will coach older members to become junior leaders and then get them to organise outdoor activities at Dorset Forest School over the summer holidays.
Youth worker Dawn Ball said the club has not been able to meet for a year because its base is on Sturminster Newton High School’s site. “We want to introduce something new and exciting to the young people of Sturminster Newton. and something that will not necessarily confine us to a building,” she said.
We want to promote physical activities in the fresh air and the positive benefits to mental health activities outside can have. This grant will help us do that, which is great
Ms Ball is being trained in leading outdoor activites at The Dorset Forest School and plans to get the junior members of the club outdoors making dens and climbing trees. “We want to promote physical activities in the fresh air and the positive benefits to mental health activities outside can have,” she said. “This grant will help us do that, which is great.”
The Youth Empowerment Platform in Bournemouth will set up a basketball team for BAME youngsters in the area thanks to a £2,021 grant. The group was founded in 2019 to offer young people in the community football coaching with AFC Bournemouth as a way of countering anti-social behaviour.
Youth worker Kundai Muzura said: “The pandemic has limited the opportunities to bring young people together face to face and some have been impacted mentally due to isolation and loneliness. Basketball is something the young people have asked us about, as well as swimming.”
Buckhorn Weston Cricket Club near Gillingham will use a £2,021 grant to launch two new junior teams for ages four to eight and eight to 11 as part of an England and Wales Cricket Board initiative.
Treasurer Chris Sledge said the grant will cover the cost of equipment and maintenance after the club lost a year of fundraising. “The funding will make us properly equipped to coach and encourage young players to learn, enjoy and become proficient at playing cricket and to benefit from their interactions with each other and with their coach,” he added.
Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said: “We are very proud that Made By Sport has chosen to work with us because it appreciates that we have the in-depth knowledge of the voluntary sector in Dorset that allows its money to go exactly where it is needed.
“These grants will help these brilliant groups use sport and physical activity as a force for good, encouraging and engaging young people and giving them a focus for their energy. The great thing about these activities is that they give youth workers an opportunity to build up trust and respect with young people and that allows them to make a real difference in their lives. We are very pleased to be able to play a part in that.”