The charity that supports youth clubs and activities throughout Wiltshire is cock-a-hoop after winning nearly £200,000 in Lottery grant aid for three projects.

Youth Action Wiltshire, the youth arm of the Devizes-based Community First, last week received the funding, amounting to £197,580 over five years to support the linked projects Try It, Learn to Lead and My Space, which aim to encourage more young people to take an active role in their own communities.

Try It involves short-term taster sessions in community volunteering.
Sarah White, from YAW, said: “The sessions will be about community issues, which could be conservation projects, renovating a community centre or helping younger children with sport.”

If the young volunteer is inspired they can move on to Learn to Lead, which offers training and development as a youth leader in their own community. The volunteer will take part in a three-day residential course to take them to level one in the Youth Leadership Award scheme.

Mrs White said: “Our youth clubs rely on the supply of leaders. The grant from the Lottery will enable us to follow up on progress and share learning and good practice.”

These projects lead on to My Space, which will prompt new youth provision – youth clubs or meetings depending on the needs of the local communities.
As the grant is over five years, Youth Action Wiltshire will have time to develop activities throughout the county.

Mrs White said: “With this investment we can really engage with young people marginalised because of their isolated location or any other reason. Their growing feedback helped us win this Lottery grant.”