Major cash boost for youth initiative

A YOUNG people's charity based in Ipswich is celebrating today after winning a lottery grant of more than £450,000.

A YOUNG people's charity based in Ipswich is celebrating today after winning a lottery grant of more than £450,000.

Young Suffolk, which helps children, young people under 25 and families, has been awarded £464,776 by the Big Lottery Fund.

The money will be spent on three area co-ordinators, who will start work in the new year, as well as on training their current staff and encouraging more young people to volunteer.

The charity is due to merge with Suffolk Clubs for Young People, which will create a larger body helping 200 youth organisations ranging from sports clubs and drop-in centres to groups for Christians, Scouts and disabled people.

Young Suffolk also plans to take on more administrative staff.

Dawn Henry, chair of Young Suffolk and chief executive of the Suffolk Young People's Health Project said: “Three years of funding gives us the financial confidence to push ahead and recruit and to support the needs of our member organisations and young people more effectively.”

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Bud Simpkin, chief executive of Young Suffolk, said: “We are overjoyed the Big Lottery Fund has recognised the value and diversity of the work we do.

“Now we have the opportunity to provide a louder voice for our members to help them influence local policy decision makers and therefore increase their reach.

“The money will help us develop the quality of voluntary provision for children, young people and families in Suffolk.”

The award came from the Big Lottery's Basis programme (Building and Sustaining Infrastructure Services), the first to focus solely on developing voluntary and community sector infrastructure.

Young Suffolk also manages Millenium Volunteers, a programme for young people aged 16 to 24, and has recently secured two years of funding from V, a new national volunteering charity, so it can continue offering full-time volunteering opportunities to young people.

Have you benefited from the work of Young Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail