THE DROITWICH CVS is celebrating after receiving almost £360,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund to help and support young people on the town’s Westlands estate.
The cash will fund a mentoring programme and courses to provide more opportunities and a better start in life for people on the Westlands which, according to social mobility studies, is considered to be one of the most disadvantaged areas in the district.
A survey of 84 adults and 150 young people from the Westlands carried out last year by the CVS which found 68 per cent wanted to develop their skills and 75 per cent were interested in undertaking courses.
Residents will now be asked about the specific courses they want, which could include employability skills, IT and computing, sports coaching, counselling and food hygiene.
The area has had high education drop-out rates and it is hoped delivering sessions directly from within the community, the course’s participants will be more motivated, leading to better results.
Six new jobs will be created for the three years the project is running and part of the plan will be to turn the Westlands Hall into a community hub.
Staff will be based there three days-a-week to offer drop-in sessions as well as the courses.
The Droitwich CVS, which has operated in the town for more than 20 years, will also support members of the community to set up self-sustaining groups, helping them build relationships with others facing the same challenges and developing their own support network.
Tonia Enderbury, Chief Officer of Droitwich CVS said they were delighted the National Lottery Community Fund had recognised the charity’s work and had provided funding.
“This is important because our recent residents’ consultations showed that they wanted a functioning community hall with a variety of activities on offer and 90 per cent wanted more support for young people.”
Community volunteer Lynne Duffy added: “I have been supporting the Westlands community for 12 years and have been leading on similar social mobility projects in the area.
“I am hoping that this project will work with the young people that really need support and make a difference to their futures.”