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After-school club and sport facility could gain thousands of pounds in grants
TWO Oxfordshire community groups are likely to benefit from £7,500 of grant funding.
Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground and Freeland Parish Council both applied for support from Oxfordshire County Council ’s £100,000-a-year “chill out fund”.
It aims to provide small-scale financial support to help increase the number of activities available to young people across the county.
Cabinet member for children and the voluntary sector Louise Chapman has been urged to approve the two bids at a meeting on Monday.
Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground applied for £5,000 to run its after school clubs during the winter months, but council officer Delia Mann suggested they should only be given half of the cash.
They will be encouraged to re-apply if the project is a successful.
She said: “This is a good scheme which we have used in the summer. I suggest providing £2,500 towards the set-up. If the scheme is successful, BLAP should re-apply.”
Freeland Parish Council could get the full £5,000 it applied for to put towards a £200,000 sports changing facility for its Community Recreation Project.
Council officer Annelies Henshall described the scheme as a “positive community project, benefiting a range of people and hopefully building on the inspiration of the Olympics.”
She said: “(It) would be important to consider the needs of a range of young people, their age and needs to make sure it is accessible.
“(It’s) also important to consider how this will be facilitated and maintained.”
But officers have recommended a bid for £5,000 from Innovista to provide mentoring services is turned down because it “does not match the criteria of the fund”, which is specifically for activities for young people.
Council youth, engagement and opportunities service manager Ruth Ashwell said: “We know that how children and young people spend their leisure time has an important influence and impact on their resilience and their quality of life.
“Engaging in constructive activities can increase children and young people’s positive attitudes, improve motivation, increase aspirations, develop social and life skills, enhance interpersonal skills and help build social capital.
“All of which is vital for children and young people to help them avoid taking risks such as experimenting with drugs or alcohol or being involved in anti-social behaviour and crime.
"Participation in positive activities can also help increase the resilience of vulnerable children who are trying to rebuild their lives.”
Ms Chapman will make her final decision on the grants on Monday at noon.
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