Boost for youth activities in East Suffolk with launch of new programme

Youth representatives from ESYPAG, Staff from Access Community Trust, Just42, councillor Colin Law (

Youth representatives from ESYPAG, Staff from Access Community Trust, Just42, councillor Colin Law (chairman of the ESP) Luke Bennett and Stuart Halsey. - Credit: Archant

A project to support and develop youth participation in East Suffolk has been boosted by £50,000 in funding.

With the East Suffolk Youth Priority Action Group (ESYPAG) looking to improve a range of activities for 11 to 18-year-olds across Waveney and Suffolk Coastal – including sport, the arts, science, skills, and activities aimed at young disabled people – a new youth holiday activities programme has been launched.

And on Friday the East Suffolk Partnership (ESP) backed the programme by providing £50,000 in funding to support the initiative over the next two years.

The aim of the youth holiday activities programme is geared towards improving the variety of opportunities available to young people aged between school years seven to 13.

The project builds on the work of the ESYPAG, which has been working to support and develop youth participation in Suffolk Coastal and Waveney for more than a year.

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With the new project being led by young people, with support from the councils, youth organisations across East Suffolk are now being encouraged to apply for funding.

Final decisions on successful applications will be made by a panel of young people who will also benefit from the project management skills they learn from the project.

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Ray Wang, ESYPAG and ESP board member, said: 'We sent out a questionnaire to schools and youth groups and organisations across east Suffolk last year and found that young people are consistently concerned about the lack of youth activities in our area.

'We wanted to provide more activities for young people during the school holidays as there just isn't enough catered to them - particularly non sports related activities.

'I think young people are often given negative press if they're seen hanging around not doing much in their free time. Living in rural Suffolk is a big problem as public transport is limited and young people are often isolated from youth clubs and activities provided in the larger towns.

'We hope the project will reach out to young people throughout east Suffolk and provide them with activities that will not only help them develop key skills, but also help improve their overall mental health and well-being.'

? Applications can be completed from today (Monday, June 6) by youth organisations across East Suffolk. Details of funding deadlines, and to complete an application form, visit or call 01502 523354.

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