Fenlander: Cash for young carers

YOUNG carers, street dancers and would-be film makers are the latest people to benefit from grants provided by Fenland District Council and awarded by Fenland Youth District Council (YDC).

Three grants totalling �2,820 were unanimously approved at the YDC meeting held at Cromwell Community College, Chatteris, last week.

Crossroads Young Carers received �1,000 to enable them to organise workshops to learn how to design and print their own T-shirts, which can then be used to publicise their work and sold to raise further funds.

Some of the money will also go towards a big fun day that the group in March is planning to hold at Neale-Wade Community College on August 11.

YDC members were struck by the persuasive case for the grant that had been presented by Tye Richardson and Kathryn Johnston, two teenagers from Chatteris who both help to look after family members.

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They attended the meeting as representatives of Crossroads Young Carers Fenland, a project run by Crossroads Care Cambridgeshire that supports about 70 young carers aged 8-18 across the district.

Another grant of �1,000 was awarded to Sarah’s Street Style Dance to help the group with the costs of competing in the Street Dance World Championships being held in Blackpool over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

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Chatteris Action for Youth received �820 to help set up a three-day film-making and photography workshop and a series of four arts and crafts sessions for 9-14-year-olds over the summer holidays.

Liam Wallace, the YDC’s chairman, said: “All three applications were excellent and we had no doubts that they deserved to get all the money they asked for. We were particularly impressed by the young carers from Crossroads and the fantastic work they do.”

The young councillors also confirmed that the YDC’s major project this year would focus on improving young people’s skills and job prospects.

It agreed to work with the Fenland Enterprise in Education (FEE) project to organise an Employability Skills Day at which students could get practical advice on what employers look for from young people applying for jobs. YDC members will play a key role in deciding the format for the day.

Councillor Steve Garratt, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder responsible for young people, said: “Working with schools and employers to promote the skills young people need to gain confidence and find work is vital in this current climate and I’m delighted the YDC have themselves identified it as a major concern that they want to help address.

“Meanwhile, they also continue to make a big difference to all sorts of groups across Fenland through their grants scheme.”

• The YDC has a total of �10,000 to distribute this year and there is still about �6,000 in its kitty. To find out how to apply for a grant (up to a maximum of �1,000), call Ross McGivern, Community Support Worker at FDC, on 01354 654321 or e-mail rmcgivern@fenland.gov.uk

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