Earlier this year the National Express Foundation awarded nearly £230,000 to support 2,000 youngsters across the West Midlands and Kent. It is now launching a second funding programme, with £100,000 available to support even more local young people.
National Express doubled the amount of funding it provided to the Foundation in 2018. The charity has therefore launched an additional funding round this year for the first time.
Since its launch in 2012, the Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds which has helped over 16,000 young people enjoy positive and developmental activities within their local communities and to continue with their education.
The charity has opened for 2018 second round funding applications and is offering educational institutions and community groups in Birmingham the opportunity to bid for grants out of the additional £100,000 funding available.
The Foundation is inviting local community groups to bid for grants of £2,500, £5,000 or for larger amounts of £10,000 or £20,000 to support sustainable projects that provide positive, developmental and engaging activities for young people in deprived areas of Birmingham.
Local colleges and universities can also apply for grants of £10,000 per year towards innovative bursary schemes that 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. Full guidelines on how to apply and application forms can be found at www.nationalexpressgroup.com/foundation.
Applications must be received by Friday 24 August 2018.
New Heights Warren Farm Community Group in Kingstanding is using a £5,000 grant to support the group following a community consultation that identified that there is a lack of affordable and accessible opportunities for young people to participate in.
John McGorman, Trustee of New Heights Warren Farm Community Project, said: “The National Express Foundation grant is supporting New Heights to establish opportunities for young people here in Kingstanding. It will also support a qualified instructor to train New Heights volunteers so that the activities will be sustainable in the future. This is exactly the type of activity in Kingstanding that local people asked for.”
Gospel Oak Community Centre in Hall Green is using a £10,000 grant to support weekly diversionary activities to prevent young people becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. It is also supporting them to participate in enterprise and positive social action in their community. Young people are working together to develop ideas for small businesses or social enterprises and the centre is also providing them with opportunities to volunteer with local charities, helping the young people involved to gain crucial life skills and work experience.
Dave Crathorne, Centre Manager of Gospel Oak Community Centre, said: “National Express Foundation funding means we are able to continue to support the young people in and around our community. We are able to offer each and every participant the life chances they would not have access to without this funding.
“Our community craves cooperation and cohesion and the opportunities that this project gives means we will be able to deliver positive results and empower our young adults to make a positive difference in our community.”
Aston University in Birmingham is using a bursary grant of £10,000 to support 20 students with their living expenses whilst undertaking unpaid placements. The support is focused on students undertaking placements in healthcare settings and they will each receive £500, paid in two equal instalments.
Dominic Riordan, from Student & Academic Services at Aston University, said: “Aston University is delighted to be working with the National Express Foundation again this year. The bursary award is being 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, is supporting their living costs while living and working away from Birmingham.”
Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said: “We are extremely proud that over the last six years, the National Express Foundation grants have helped over 16,000 young people to enjoy positive, developmental and engaging activities and helped them to gain qualifications and learn new skills.
“We want to support even more young people this year. We’ve therefore launched an additional funding round, to run alongside the projects we’re already supporting from our first programme earlier this year.
“External funding support is extremely limited – especially so in recent years – which is why I would urge all local educational institutions and community groups in Birmingham to make the most of this excellent opportunity and submit an application for Foundation funding.”