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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Do you ever stop and look around? I mean really look around. We take so much for granted and too often our busy lives don’t allow us to take a moment to pause and appreciate our surroundings. Paint the Day aims to change this. The Wolverhampton based art festival is inviting people of all ages and abilities to create artwork to celebrate and promote the visual diversity and hidden riches of the Whitmore Reans area of Wolverhampton. Harry Thomas, U18 winner Last year the event, organised the Newhampton Arts Centre, tempted 55 artists on to the streets to create their very own unique and contrasting views of the city and the aim this year is to almost double that. Christine McGowan, Newhampton Arts Centre manager said: “Last year 780 people got involved in all sorts of different ways. There were 55 artists plus observers, judges, visitors and curious members of the public. We’re hoping to increase this to 1,000 people this year, including 100 artists of all ages and levels of experience. Mike Massingham, winner 2015 “We’re also really excited to announce that this year there will be a photography competition to encourage more people to get actively involved. We have no external funding so Paint the Day 2016 is being entirely supported by the generosity of local people and businesses. We applied to YouCan for a community grant to help us add the photography aspect to the day. I’m really happy to say that we were awarded £200 that has enabled us to offer a first prize of £100 and two runner-up prizes of £20 each, with the rest going towards marketing costs.” This year’s event starts on Saturday 2 July when [...]
Lorraine Turk from Birmingham recently trained as a podiatrist with the aim of becoming self-employed. But even fully qualified she was struggling to build a client base for her new business venture that offers visits to customers in the comfort of their own home. Lorraine said: “Being qualified is one thing, but affording the specialist equipment is another. I needed an ultrasonic cleaner and other specialist podiatry tools so that I could offer my clients a professional service. Those things don’t come cheap and I was finding it hard to save the money, but then I was told about YouCan. I had no idea that I could apply for a grant for help with my business. “With an ageing population and diabetes on the rise, podiatrists are in increasing demand and I wanted to put myself in the best position possible by having the latest equipment.” Lorraine applied for £300 from YouCan. Her plan was to spend some of the grant on uniforms and advertising but the bulk was to be spent on specialist tools and an ultrasonic cleaner. The grant application was passed and Lorraine was awarded £300. She said: “It’s a great help. My business, Footsense Podiatry, is now growing and my family are supporting me too. Thanks to this help I’m now really positive about the future.” If a £300 grant would help you bring your bright idea to life, please get in touch?
Susan from Wolverhampton spotted a gap in the market for hair and beauty services for older people who live in care homes in the area. Her mother currently lives in a large sheltered scheme and, during her visits, Susan noticed that there was a distinct lack of pampering available for the residents. Susan said: “I’ve got my beauty certificates and really enjoy making people feel a bit spoilt and special – it’s good to feel nice about yourself. I asked around at the scheme where mum is living and got a fantastic response to my idea of starting a beauty treatment service. “I’ve always fancied being self-employed and having my own business, but the only problem I had was finding the money to get started. My skills coach told me all about Business Enterprise Support and also how I could apply for up to £300 from the YouCan foundation - so I thought, why not?” Susan applied for a grant of £300 which she plans to put towards covering the costs of an edge quick dip nail system, Attraction liquid and powder, an easy wax kit, nail varnishes, a hair dryer, straighteners and a heated roller kit – not forgetting the all-important public liability insurance. She plans to offer free hair, beauty, manicure and nail painting service to the older people in the many care homes in her local area, with a view to expanding and becoming self-employed in the future. Susan said: “This grant will really help towards the costs of products and equipment to start up and last me through the first six to eight weeks until I build up my client base.” If you have an idea that a £300 grant could help with, [...]
Misbah Khan spotted a gap in the market when it comes to private tuition. Misbah, from Walsall, noticed that there’s lots of support for children aged 11 and over but when it came to younger children there was nothing available in her area. Struggling to find anywhere for her own daughter to get extra help, Misbah carried out some market research locally by talking to parents and schools and identified that there was a need for a private tuition service for children aged between one and seven. Armed with this information she wrote a business plan and approached the job centre for further advice on how to progress her business idea. She attended various workshops and Little Bright Start Tuition was born. She now works with a PeoplePlus advisor who offers a personalised support service. This has helped Misbah set up and run her business which offers help with reading, writing, phonics, problem solving and confidence building. Thanks to this help Misbah has started delivering private tutoring to a couple of customers at the weekends but is looking to expand – that’s where YouCan comes in. She approached the foundation, which helps people start up and pursue bright ideas, and has recently been awarded a grant of £300. This will help her to buy more workbooks for the different age groups and will also pay for the printing of promotional leaflets that will be handed out to families, schools and nurseries in the Walsall area. Watch this space to find out how she gets on. If you have an idea that a £300 YouCan grant might be able to help with, please get in touch.