About Steve Nestor

Hi, I'm one of the writers for the YouCan Foundation website. If you've been approved for a grant, please get in touch to update me on your project and get your story featured on the site.

YouCan helps to fund family events

David is the founder of the City of Lichfield Friends who organise events that allow the community to come together to enjoy free activities. David has applied for a YouCan grant that has allowed the City of Lichfield of Friends to bring people together for an Easter egg hunt, a lantern parade and a Christmas Fayre. The £300 that he was granted enabled around 60 families to enjoy a Christmas fayre, 80 people to build and get involved in the lantern parade and went towards ensuring the children involved in the Eater egg hunt all received free eggs at Easter. David says that without the grant, they just wouldn’t be able to put on these events meaning that many children and families would miss out. Watch the video to find out more:  

By | 2017-11-30T16:56:31+00:00 October 13th, 2017|Successful Applicants|0 Comments

Planting the seeds to build a strong community

Lavinia Smith is chair of the Fox’s resident group and we talked to her about how a YouCan grant has helped bring the community together. With complaints of anti-social behaviour with regards to some of the youngsters who spent time on the local park, the group decided to apply for funding in an attempt to bring some community cohesion back to Fox Hollow Close. An initial grant from Comic Relief went towards planting some fruit trees around the play area and community garden which the local children and teenagers were really happy to get involved with. This success gave Lavinia and the residents group an idea to create an organic garden; that’s where YouCan came in. Lavinia’s neighbourhood coach explained to her that YouCan offers grants of up to £300 for community based projects and shortly after Lavinia had completed the straightforward application form. She used the money to get the organic garden off the ground and needs the funding to keep replenishing the stock of seeds and plants. She says that without the grant, she wouldn’t be able to do this. The organic garden is proving extremely popular with all ages. The whole community have enjoyed planting the seeds and watching them grow. The summer has seen everyone pulling together with the teenagers getting involved in some of the heavy work, the younger children planting and watering with parents being really supportive of the project. Building the garden and watching the fruit and vegetables grow has really helped the whole community come together with good relationships being formed and the plan for the future is to put on some cooking sessions using the organic produce so everyone can enjoy the fruits of their labour [...]

By | 2017-11-30T16:56:58+00:00 October 13th, 2017|Successful Applicants|0 Comments

Community space is alive with ideas

A couple of years ago Amy applied for a YouCan grant for an upcycling project to help bring more people into Gatis Community Space. Her aim was to teach children aged 12 and over to refashion their clothes with an emphasis on ethical consumerism and sustainability. After carrying out some taster sessions to find out what people were really interested in, the upcycling workshop mutated into a craft workshop. Two years on, we decided to catch up with Amy to find out how things have progressed since receiving the grant. The community centre has become a hub of activity for the children and adults in the local area. Amy says: “Gatis Community Space is the only community centre in the area so it’s great to see lots of people getting involved in these activities and using the place again; and the YouCan grant has really helped us achieve this, cementing a strong community spirit.” She says Gatis Community Space is a place where the community comes together, to share their skills, knowledge and experiences and wants to introduce as many things to the centre as possible. Not only has the grant encouraged more people to go along to Gatis Community Space, it’s also helped Amy to build her confidence. Struggling with social anxiety when she started volunteering at the centre, she gradually started feeling better the more she worked with people, eventually leading to her being given the opportunity to become a volunteers’ manager at the centre. Amy said: “It really helped that Maria, who runs the centre, showed a great deal of belief in me. When she offered me the opportunity to become volunteers’ manager I wasn’t sure that I could do it. I’ve never done [...]

By | 2017-11-30T16:57:24+00:00 October 4th, 2017|Successful Applicants|0 Comments

Gardens get a new lease of life

Darren really enjoys being outside. He loves maintaining and looking after his garden and when it became obvious that his next door neighbour was struggling to keep on top of his garden and wasn’t making the best use of his outside space Darren offered his help. With a bit of hard work he got it looking like a garden again, and now the neighbour has a nice open-plan space for his children to play in. Darren said: “When I met with my neighbourhood coach, Sinead, I mentioned that I'd taken on the neighbour’s garden and got it looking nice again. I told her how I like getting stuck in and said I’d thought about maybe starting up a side-line gardening business is my spare time. Sinead suggested applying for a YouCan grant and mentioned that I could get up to £300 to help pay for garden tools and equipment if I was serious about the business and helping the community. She said this would be a good help to kick-start the business.   Before After The online application process was really easy, even for a technophobe like me and I received the grant quicker than I expected. I already had a petrol lawnmower and a few tools so I used the grant to buy a bush cutter and some hedge cutters (long reach and normal ones). “Once I received the new tools I told Sinead and she set about linking me up with potential clients in the local community who needed help. Within a few days I had some customers and got to work helping them restore their gardens. Some of the gardens I worked on were very overgrown so it's [...]

By | 2017-11-30T16:57:43+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Successful Applicants|0 Comments

What could a £300 grant do for your community project?

Do you ever feel that there’s not enough information about what’s going on in your area? This was certainly the case for Beeches Community Group in Cirencester who were keen to make public information more widely available. They applied to YouCan for help with the creation of a community notice board as there are many people in neighbourhood who have no (or very limited) access to the internet or social media. In the area concerned, the closest noticeboard is around half a mile away on a route that gets very little use and the Beeches Community Group were keen to make public information and community interests more widely available to everyone. The group were awarded £300 towards the cost of the notice board that now means everyone in the neighbourhood, particularly the most vulnerable who have no access to the internet, can find what’s happening in the community.   Lavinia Smith, of Birmingham applied for a £300 grant to help expand on a project where the residents of Fox Hollow Close were encouraged to grow their own fruit and vegetables – which proved really successful. Following on from the success of this project the group are now looking to expand this to develop an organic community garden. This will help to teach the residents of Fox Hollow Close all about growing their own food. The grant will go towards gardening materials and equipment they need to get the project started. They’ve got off to a fabulous start with a local charity donating seeds and six volunteers have already signed up to work in the community garden.   Bright Beginnings Breastfeeding group Spark (Burntwood) CIC are looking to establish three new projects under the umbrella Bright [...]

By | 2017-11-30T16:42:13+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Successful Applicants|0 Comments

Bringing people together

A £300 YouCan grant can be used for any number of things as these examples from the recent batch of successful application proves. Take a look at some of the ideas that have received funding over the last few months, maybe you’ll be inspired too.   Child’s play Vanessa Simpson from Perton in Wolverhampton has always dreamed of working with children and as a single mum she noticed a distinct lack of affordable and accessible childcare in her area. Ready to go back to work, Vanessa had been working with Jordan (a skills coach from Bromford) to identify the kind of job she could apply for when she came up with the idea of training to become a childminder.  Once she started looking into it properly it became obvious that she was going to struggle to pay for the registration fee and various training courses she needed to go on. The costs for everything that she needed were: Local Authority approved childminding course - £225 Child and early years first aid course - £80 Safeguarding training - £80 DBS Check - £52 Mental and Physical health check£90 Ofsted registration - £35. That’s when Jordan suggested that Vanessa could apply for a YouCan grant of up to £300 to help with the costs. With the total amount needed coming to £562 Vanessa started saving part of her income support to make she had enough to cover the remaining costs to make up the shortfall. Vanessa was awarded £300 towards making her dream of becoming a childminder come true – this will not only help her, but will benefit the whole community as she’ll be providing a much needed service for parents and children in the local [...]

By | 2017-01-30T11:26:29+00:00 January 30th, 2017|Successful Applicants|0 Comments

Summer successes

The summer months saw an influx of successful grant applications for YouCan with a real mix of ideas coming through between July and September. Here’s a round-up of some of the projects that received funding – we look forward to hearing your idea that will help bring your community to life.   1444 (Brownhills) Squadron Air Cadets wind tunnel project Carolyn Sault got in touch to ask for £300 to go towards the cost of materials to build wind tunnels crucial to helping air cadets learn about the principles of flight – one of the main subjects taught to cadets. Carolyn said: “This is very difficult to teach without props. The cadets are also studying engineering and some will go into apprenticeships with the Royal Air Force and the civilian world. During the build the current cadets will not only learn manufacturing skills which they can take into their school and working life but the wind tunnels can then be used to teach future Air Cadets from our local community. A long-term benefit not only the squadron but for new recruits as they come through.” The overall costs of the project are £497.75 and the £300 will go a long way to paying for the wood screens and Perspex needed to create the four proposed wind tunnels. The remaining costs will be covered by parents who work within the construction and engineering industries who have offered to make up the short fall and provide some of the materials and tooling.   Chalk Project Clean Bedding For Kids is a project that takes donated clothing and bedding and passes it on to families who are in need in the Oswestry area. Wendy Keats applied to the fund [...]

By | 2016-11-30T09:12:58+00:00 October 31st, 2016|Successful Applicants|0 Comments

BromGolf 2016

We're delighted to confirm that BromGolf 2016, our largest fundraising event of the year, has raised an incredible £8,802 for our YouCan Foundation. It is the second year Bromford has match funded '£ for £' the £4401 net total raised by colleagues and business partners at Birmingham's Shirley Golf Club on 8th September 2016. YouCan is our fund to enable people to bring their ideas to life to help their communities. Every penny raised will now go towards helping customers unlock their potential by giving them the opportunity to bid for grants of up to £300. Head of business improvement Richard Hicks, who helped organise the event, said: "Another successful year and we are extremely grateful for the 18 teams from our business partner community, some attending for the first time, along with teams of Bromford colleagues, making it a total of 23 teams taking part which exceeds last year. We had some amazing donations and gifted promise items which we were able to raffle and auction to raise extra funds." How did the day unfold? Yet again the golf day basked in brilliant sunshine as everyone gathered early to energise themselves with a delicious breakfast before heading out. We had teams from Bromford, iTracking, R&R Fixings, MIS-Active Management Systems, Jewson, Novus, Stafford Industrial Supplies, Gilmore Building Supplies, J Tomlinson, Hewer FM Ltd, Valliant, David Wilson Homes, Worcester Bosch, City Electrical Factors, Akzo Nobel- Dulux, Ian Williams Ltd, Cirencester Intruder Alarms, Augusta, Myson Radiators and Fernox. After a light lunch, the agenda of the day moved on to some more fundraising activities. As a result of kind donations by our business partners we again had some great items to auction and raffle and, along with the [...]

By | 2016-11-30T09:12:58+00:00 September 23rd, 2016|Fundraising|0 Comments

Play in the park

The summer holidays are here and children everywhere are looking forward to six weeks away from school. But any parent will tell that it doesn’t take long for the novelty to wear off and boredom to set in. Luckily for the young people (and their parents) of Burntwood in Staffordshire there will be plenty on offer during this year’s holidays. Burntwood Town Council, working with Gemma Davis, who is part of the local Asset Based Community Development Project, along with other local organisations are running eight ‘Play in the Park’ events over the summer holidays. Taking place in the parks of Burntwood, Chasetown and Chase Terrace the aim of the events is to bring the community together and build relationships with residents and improve community cohesion and pride in the area. Best of all, the events are free of charge! Jennifer Knobbs is involved in the organisation of the events and she applied to the YouCan Foundation for a grant of £300 to help to fund some activities at the events including a fairground ride, bubble machine, badminton set, and quick cricket set. Jennifer said: “This project is an excellent opportunity to build links with local community groups and in particular the young people of Burntwood through fun, engaging and healthy events such as bouncy castles, face painting, mini football tournaments, bubble football, sand pits, bubble play pit and rounders.” The eight ‘Play in the Park’ events will be taking place throughout and you can be part of the fun by going along to any of the sessions listed below: Elder Lane Park - Monday 1 August Redwood Park  - Wednesday 3 August Open House, Cherry Close - Tuesday 9 August St Matthews Field -  Thursday [...]

By | 2016-07-25T15:29:48+00:00 July 25th, 2016|Successful Applicants|0 Comments

Going for gold

Elizabeth Bacon and Kerry Mcabe Crowley are the lead youth workers for the Fun Club. They work with Lichfield District Council, Positive Futures, the Police, Entrust and Liberty to offer young people involved in, or on the cusp of being involved in, anti-social behaviour (ASB) a better future. Elizabeth recently approached the YouCan Foundation for a grant of £300 to go towards food and refreshments for family fun days and barbeques that are planned over the summer holidays in Lichfield and Burntwood. Elizabeth said: “By working closely with the local community, the Fun Club have already built up positive relationships with young people and their parents and these family days will help to reinforce those relationships. “Part of the SPACE project set up by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to offer activities for young people aged 11- 17 over the summer holiday, we will be working with 15 young people from Burntwood and 15 from Lichfield who have been chosen to take part in residential and family days to support and represent their community. “The funding will support the ‘Road to Rio’ project in which the Fun club will be celebrating the Olympics with craft activities, sport competitions, and inter-sport games. “This will be supported and organised by the senior groups who will volunteer to organise the family days to be held in the summer holidays in Burntwood and Lichfield. The project will culminate in a residential at the end of the holidays to bring the senior young people together in team building and social skills activities. “ The Fun Club will be working with professionals such as the Police, Fire service, T3, Preventing CSE Team and Positive futures. The two Burntwood family [...]

By | 2016-11-30T09:12:58+00:00 July 25th, 2016|Successful Applicants|0 Comments