£10,000 up for grabs for project to help prevent child exploitation

Archive image of young people playing football. Picture: James Bass

Archive image of young people playing football. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A search has been launched for an organisation to help in the fight against child exploitation in an impoverished area of Norwich - with £10,000 of funding up for grabs.

The Norwich Youth Advisory Board, a group of organisations and professionals with the interests of young people at heart, is making funding available for a community project in the Heartsease area.

It is looking for any organisation with the capacity to set up an activity program for people aged between 12 to 16 in the area - with a focus on physical activity.

The Norwich Youth Advisory Board is inviting organisation to bid to run at £10,000 youth project

The Norwich Youth Advisory Board is inviting organisation to bid to run at £10,000 youth project - Credit: NYAB

This may be setting up a sports team, martial arts class or similar and would run from April until October this year - depending on what restrictions are in place.

The aim of the scheme would be to help build strong community ties, build self-esteem in the young people that get involved and help ward off child exploitation through things like county lines.

It is also hoped that once the project is up and running it can help refer its members to any support they may need and raise any safeguarding concerns. 

Jess Barnard, of the Norwich Youth Advisory Board Picture: Danielle Booden

Jess Barnard, of the Norwich Youth Advisory Board Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Jess Barnard, of the Norwich Youth Advisory Board, said: "The need for a project like this has been identified by young people themselves, who know that increasingly, child exploitation poses a risk to young people in their community.

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"As lockdown restrictions are likely to lift in the coming weeks, we want to fund a project to provide much-needed face-to-face support and guidance to young people, to build positive connections and access free physical activities.

"The impact of positive role models, strong social circles and being able to reach out to a friendly face for support, can be life-changing, which is why we are so excited to be funding this work."

She added: "We want to see creative applications with lots of ideas from people passionate about improving the lives of young people - especially after many months spent inside.

"A strong understanding of the issues around child exploitation is required and a commitment to working with the Norwich YAB young people and local services to provide the best possible support."

For details on how to bid for the funding, contact jessicabarnard@map.uk.net or visit the project website .