Sharrow Community Forum has been awarded a transformational Youth Investment Fund grant to renovate and extend its youth service offer to young people across Sheffield. It is very welcome news for young people who will benefit from the generous funding, and means that Sharrow Community Forum will be able to support generations of young people once the project is complete. Sharrow Community Forum will redevelop their existing Highfield Adventure Playground building into a state of the art environmentally conscious youth hub.
Sharrow Community Forum is one of 44 youth projects in England to benefit from a Youth Investment Fund grant, announced by the funder, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the charity Social Investment Business, who is delivering the grant programme in partnership with Key Fund, National Youth Agency and Resonance. The Youth Investment Fund is part of the Government’s National Youth Guarantee to transform and level up opportunities for young people in England. The Youth Investment Fund, of over £300 million, aims to build, renovate, and extend youth service facilities, providing a minimum of 45,000 additional positive activities for young people between 11 and 18 - in the parts of the country where new spaces and new opportunities are most needed.
The Youth Investment Fund grants announced today are worth £70 million.
Over £90 million of grants were also announced to 43 youth services in March 2023. This means that so far at total of over £160 million has been invested in youth services across England and will benefit another 28,500 young people. More grants will be announced later this year.
The Youth Investment Grant will enable youth services like ours to transform health, wellbeing, skills, and opportunities for young people. It is a ground-breaking opportunity to prioritise the needs of young people and deliver the life-changing services they need, creating a more equal society for future generations.
The Youth Investment Fund grant of £2.5 million will transform Sharrow Community Forum’s services for young people. It means work can start on site in winter 2023/24 and the service should open its doors to young people by late autumn 2024.
The new service will expand and enhance their current youth work provision but also, importantly, provide space to co-locate services for young people including health services, statutory services and other community led projects. Young people supported by Sharrow Community Forum played a key role in developing this exciting new project by working with architects and designers to reflect their needs and aspirations for the space.
The scheme, which is designed by local sustainability experts, Hem Architects, has already received planning approval and is supported by Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police and local neighbourhood groups.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “I want every young person to have the opportunity to access the kinds of life-changing activities which expand their horizons and allow them to develop vital life skills. These next 44 youth centres will give 12,000 more young people the opportunity to access these activities, building on the first tranche of Youth Investment Fund investment that is seeing new projects like the Alt Valley Communiversity opening in Liverpool. We will make sure every young person has someone to talk to, something to do, somewhere to go.”
Nick Temple, CEO for Social Investment Business, that leads the delivery partnership said: “The Youth Investment Fund is all about prioritising the needs of young people in England and creating a more equal society for future generations. It is wonderful to see how the fund is already transforming young people’s opportunities to experience the joy of local youth services designed for, and by, young people. Today’s announcement means another 12,000 young people can access quality, sustainable and accessible youth clubs.
It is so exciting to see the first Youth Investment Fund projects open their doors to young people, giving them every opportunity to make friends, have fun, discover their passions, and thrive. And it is just the start: thousands more young people will benefit from new or expanded local youth services, supporting their wellbeing and helping them gain vital skills for life and work.”
Welcoming the Youth Investment Fund grant, Jonathan Roberts, Chief Executive Officer for Sharrow Community Forum said: “We are thrilled to lead on this project on behalf of the young people of Sharrow and beyond. We are passionate about realising their ideas in a space which promotes creativity, development, inclusion, and ambition. The impact of this building will be felt across generations for years to come and provide a beacon of hope for people in the area. It will provide access to services required by young people in a way which is not only readily apparent to them, but that are accessed in a venue they feel confident and proud to be in. Investing in young people in this way will raise aspiration and give them a space they want to be in which is safe and meets their needs.”
“The new facility would give us something to do, that’s safe, not reliant on other people, we would otherwise would be at home in bed or hanging round on the streets. On the streets people get involved in bad stuff. The new building will] improve things like the echo in the main room, having heating, and it not being so dark and dinghy, it would make us feel better about coming to youth club so I told the architects and youth workers that ~ Young person
"[Sharrow] Youth club is an inclusive space because the youth workers don’t judge people and help when you have a problem. They support you to find out information and give you good advice because they are knowledgeable, so people want to go there and ask them stuff. The youth workers are different genders, different backgrounds, different races, and have different perspectives but all live round here so they know what it is like to grow up here.” ~ Young person
Sharrow Community Forum is a community development trust established in 1997, which works to strengthen communities in the Sharrow area of Sheffield. We work with the local community to improve services, bring people together, build the community’s voice, and help to make the local community a better place to live.
About the Youth Investment Fund
The Youth Investment Fund forms part of the Government’s ‘National Youth Guarantee’ to ensure every young person across England will have access to regular out of school activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer. The Youth Investment Fund, of over £300 million, is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and delivered by Social Investment Business in partnership with National Youth Agency, Resonance, and the Key Fund.
The Youth Investment Fund has been developed to create, expand, and improve local youth facilities and their services in the out of school youth sector, to drive positive outcomes for young people, including improved mental and physical wellbeing, and skills for life and work.
The Youth Investment Fund will fund the building or renovation of 300 youth services and will increase the number of regular positive activities undertaken by young people in the targeted areas by 45,000 per year, by 2026/27.
To learn more, visit www.youthinvestmentfund.org.uk
LinkedIn: @Social Investment Business