Honley Youth Project
Before Christmas we launched Honley Youth Project, and you can read the full blog here. It all started with the ASK Honley questionnaire in 2019, when many young people let us know that they were struggling and wanted help. It’s a situation that a year of Covid restrictions has made even worse.
After listening to Honley’s young people we wanted to act. So, Honley Business Association got together with Friends of Honley and Friends of Honley Library, and started raising money to make Honley a better place for our young people.
In January – less than 2 months after launch – we hit our first £10,000 target. It was an amazing achievement and thank you to everyone who donated. We are still fundraising. After all, the more we raise the more we can do for our young people, so whatever you can spare will be gratefully received. You can donate online here or by cash and cheque at our participating shops. It’s amazing how loose change dropped into the buckets at the Co-Op soon adds up!
So what have we done?
Thanks to your generosity we’re making things happen, despite lockdown!
In January, we brought Kerry Astin on board. Originally from ‘up north’, Kerry has spent most of her career as a Youth Worker in inner city London, working with young people and securing funding streams for youth projects. Kerry returned to her Yorkshire roots, and moved to Honley just before the first lockdown last year. It was great timing for us, as she’s brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Honley Youth Project.
Kerry’s first job was to talk to parents, youth leaders and young people to find out what’s already available, what is missing and how we can join things up. That way we can provide a clear and effective plan for the future.
“I’m used to having to advocate for young people and fight to provide them with more opportunities, so talking to people in Honley has been a refreshing change. It’s great to hear adults not only acknowledging that young people need more opportunities, but also hearing how they want young people to have a voice in the community,” said Kerry.
“There is so much potential here, and so many people willing to volunteer their time to give young people opportunities. There’s a lot going on in certain areas, but we need to fill in the gaps and make sure that all young people know what’s on offer and can access the opportunities.”
Listening to young people
Hearing what Honley’s youth have to say about the matter was interesting. When asked ‘What’s important to you?’ the most popular answer was ‘Somewhere to socialise with friends.’ ‘Being outside’ and ‘Not being bored’ came in second and third and could well be a result of a year spent in various stages of lockdown.
Many of the responses boiled down to young people having a safe space – both in and outdoors – to meet and socialise with friends.
The next step is to employ a youth worker and a youth coordinator, who can begin to work with organisations and our young people, opening up a world of opportunities for them.
Making Honley Youth Project sustainable
It’s all very well employing a youth worker and coordinator for a couple of years with the money raised within the village. But what happens when the money runs out?
Securing long term funding for youth projects is vital if we’re to make a real change to the lives of young people living in Honley. That’s where Kerry’s research, report and understanding of funding streams makes the difference. We now have the evidence to support applications to access funds from council, government and even private organisations. It’s means that your generous donations are working even harder and generating funding for the Honley Youth Project now and in the future.
More than that, we now have a roadmap and clear strategy based on what young people want and how we can make it happen for them.
We’ll be advertising for a Youth Worker and a Youth Coordinator for Honley soon. Keep an eye out for the job descriptions on this website and on our social media feeds.