HeadStart Kernow young peoples’ panel awards grants to nineteen mental health and wellbeing projects

The Chalk Effect Climbing Project, young persons group session

HeadStart Kernow, a partnership programme run by Cornwall Council and funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, recently held a grants panel for The Young People’s Mental Wellbeing Legacy Fund, awarding grants totalling more than £67,000 to nineteen community projects around the county. Headstart Kernow has been working in partnership with Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF), the Cornish community grants charity, to develop and administer the Fund. The members of the grant panel were young people, aligning with HeadStart’s guiding principle that young people with first-hand experience of the issues they face are best placed to shape potential solutions for others.

Barbara Ellenbroek, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member and Portfolio Holder for Children and Families said, “The HeadStart Young People’s Mental Wellbeing Legacy Fund was designed so that young people could effect change for their peers.  It is hugely exciting to know that these awards have been decided by young people and that they will make a difference to young people’s mental health and wellbeing across Cornwall.”

Successful applicants included Wild Wonder and Wisdom CIC, an organisation that enables young people to feel empowered through outdoor learning, from paddle boarding, kayaking and sea swimming to cricket, yoga and bushcraft in blue and green spaces around St Austell and Bodmin. The grant of £5,000 is being used to establish a weekly course for young people aged 10-16 with experienced teachers and instructors who are passionate about improving health and well-being for young people.

Cirque du Ciel received a grant award of £5000 to offer opportunities for 80 young people, struggling with poor mental health and emotional issues, through using circus skill-based activities to bring about positive personal, social and community development.

The Chalk Effect Climbing Project received a grant award of £6,000 to support 15 young people on a 10 week programme with specially trained instructors, enabling young people to gain coordination, focus, and confidence whilst providing a sense of accomplishment.

Other projects awarded grants also improve well-being through physical activities, including Bodmin Amateur Boxing Club, The Sparkle Foundation UK and the Children’s Sailing Trust.

HeadStart is a six-year, £67.4 million National Lottery funded programme set up by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK

Scott Hignett, Head of Funding for Headstart at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Young people with lived experience are in the best position to understand what their peers need to improve their mental wellbeing, and it is great to see the engaging activities they’ve chosen to fund through the HeadStart Young People’s Mental Wellbeing Legacy Fund.

“Thanks to National Lottery players for helping to make this funding possible and we look forward to seeing the projects in action.”

The Headstart Young People’s Mental Wellbeing Legacy Fund also supports grants to, for example, try new activities, access green spaces and meet new people, as well as therapy-based interventions. Applications for individual grants are made through a sponsoring organisation, such as a youth group, community group or school.

Tamas Haydu, Chief Executive of Cornwall Community Foundation, commented, “This round of grant awards reflects the need for support for young people in Cornwall with all the projects awarded grants making a real difference to mental wellbeing. We are looking forward to the next youth grant panel meeting and encourage potential applicants to visit our website for details about how to apply.”