Own-It is a Coventry based youth project, aimed at enabling young people to become more involved in improving their communities, has secured funding from HS2. Empowr-U CIC is launching a new youth project in Canley, Tile Hill and Kenilworth, funded for £75,000 through the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF), independently administered by Groundwork UK. The Fund supports

local communities that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Phase One of the brand new high speed railway which is currently being built between London and the West Midlands.

The project will encourage young people to take ownership of the things that they would like to improve in their community, by delivering their own projects, centred on their perception of local needs.

The project will engage over 2000 children and young people across the three areas, offering opportunities to learn skills in leadership, enterprise, arts and more. They will also receive coaching and mentoring to utilise their skills and be given opportunities volunteer, contribute to and even develop their own projects in their community.

Local Councillors in all three of the areas have been supportive of the project and are keen that the outcomes will help them to understand youth related issues and to generate a brighter community.

Councillor Peter Male of Woodlands Ward commented :

“It’s so good to see that our work behind the scenes in supporting local not for profit organisations to provide opportunities for children and young people is coming in to effect.

Empowr-U have been invested in our community for over a year now, and have been tireless in helping to voice young peoples issues, consulting with them and designing this project, which will enable them to think ambitiously for themselves and their community.”

From left to right: Joe Graham (Empowr-U Director), Marcus Lapsa (Councillor for Westwood Ward) Pete Male (Councillor for Woodlands Ward), Pete Swinford (Empowr-U Director & Own It Project Co-ordinator), Julia Lepoidevin (Councillor for Woodlands Ward) Elaine Shirley (Whitefriars) and Jon Hudson (HS2)

The project has now begun in areas around Jardine Crescent, Prior Deram Park and Canley Community Centre and provision in partnership with local schools, such as West Coventry Academy, Westwood School and Charter Primary School to raise awareness and build sustainable relationships, which we are looking for to continuously develop partnerships for.

Empowr-U Director Peter Swinford commented:

“We are delighted to announce this and are looking forward to young people taking action in their communities and increasing access to other services. We started our initial work in the three areas with a combination of work with Whitefriars Housing, The Stoneleigh Trust and partnership work in Kenilworth with organisations such as Ileap, and to see the project being funded for 2 years fills young people with confidence that there are people that are willing to give young people a voice, and a stage to shine.”

Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of CEF and BLEF said:

“I’m delighted that that Empowr-U have received funding for a project that will go a long way in helping young people in Coventry. The HS2 Community and Environment Fund is available to support local communities that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of HS2 and I encourage other organisations near to the line of route to apply and benefit from funding.”

Picture from an Football engagement session at West Coventry Academy

To get involved in the project or find out more about how you, your child or organisation can get involved in the programme, please contact us via:

Facebook: @Empowr-U
Website: www.Empowr-U.org
Email: Pete@Empowr-U.org
Phone: 07950667895