Teenagers get a grant to do their own thing

Oxford Mail: PROJECTS: Thrive Barton’s Katie Pryde, second from left, and Jem Todd, right, with four contenders for places on the young leaders programme Buy this photo PROJECTS: Thrive Barton’s Katie Pryde, second from left, and Jem Todd, right, with four contenders for places on the young leaders programme

BARTON teenagers will get the chance to create and run their own youth work projects on their estate thanks to a £9,575 grant.

The Thrive Barton project has been handed the money by Oxford City Council as part of its Social Inclusion Fund.

The cash will go to fund a young leaders programme for a year, which will see teens aged between 16 and 19 trained to run youth programmes on the estate.

Thrive Barton team leader Jem Todd said the money would allow 10 Barton youngsters to set up events and activities for other young people.

He said: “We believe in young people’s potential to make an impact in Barton.

“And we’re committed to seeing that developed through giving them opportunities that allow them to make a positive contribution to their community.”

Robin Peake, spokesman for Thrive Barton, said an after school club could be set up with the money; if successful the group would want to continue funding the scheme every year.

He added: “These are young people who have grown up on the estate and will probably stay on the estate.”

Van Coulter, Oxford City Council member for Barton and Sandhills, backed the bid with fellow Labour area councillor Mike Rowley. He praised the work of the youth project, adding: “It delivers exactly what the young people are looking for.”

Mr Peake also said the organisation was bidding for £5,000 of Oxfordshire County Council funding to teach young people on the estate to prepare their own food.

He said: “We’re bidding because we want to help young people from Barton understand the huge amount of potential they have.

“We’ll help young people from Barton to make their own food, which they’ll serve at a dinner designed to celebrate their achievements.

“It’s a great way for us to celebrate their successes, for the young people to realise how much they’ve achieved, and how much more they’re capable of.”

The council will make a decision on the bid in September.

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