Children dressed in Halloween outfits with superimposed bats in the foreground

National Grid supports investment in local young people

£10,000 grant funds Cheddar youth club

Through it’s Community Grant Fund, National Grid has provided a £10,000 award to support The Space, a charity dedicated to protecting the mental health of young people living or who are educated in the Cheddar Valley area, with the reopening of Cheddar Youth Club.

The £10,000 funding came at a time when support for youth services had been withdrawn, the youth club had closed down, and the club was dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The grant ensured that The Space could provide support to young people, both in their own environment and together with other young people.

National Grid’s support helped to fund the club’s staff, the use of a hall and play equipment. Having re-opened during the pandemic, the youth club initially offered COVID-19-friendly online sessions before moving to weekly meetings with a reduced membership.

With COVID guidelines having lifted, the club now has 27 members and a full programme of events, community service and engaging activities.

The youth club is a preventative part of the support chain that, when joined together with other support, can make a real difference to the lives and wellbeing of young people. The local community benefits by having a vibrant youth club, which helps young people get the best start in life by helping to grow their life skills and improving their mental health.

The club is proving to be a valuable resource for a number of local children. One member commented: “I enjoy coming to youth club and making new friends but I like feeling more confident.” While another young attendee said: “I come to the youth club because it’s fun and it’s a place where you can enjoy social activities outside of your home. I made many new friends and love all the staff that give up their time to make kids happy.”

I feel my daughter has grown in confidence by joining the youth club and gets involved with all the amazing activities offered.

Parents of local children have also seen first-hand the benefits that the club can deliver, with one commenting: “I feel my daughter has grown in confidence by joining the youth club and gets involved with all the amazing activities offered. She is always keen to go to youth club and has enjoyed meeting new people.”

Another parent saw their child display confidence they had not seen before: “I popped my head around the door ready to collect my son, only to see him playing the keyboard in front of the group. I haven’t seen my son have the confidence to do that before and staff say this happens on a regular basis.”

John Pimblott, Chair of Trustees at The Space, commented: “We now have a first-class youth club to support and invest in our local young people.”

Stephen Haskayne, Senior Project Manager on the Hinkley Connection Project, added: “The positive feedback from both parents and young people show the impact that the Community Grant Fund has had on the local community. We’re delighted to have played our part in helping these young people to build their confidence and make friends.”