Moorlands MP, Karen Bradley was delighted to visit Ross Podyma and Ben Rigby from Sporting Communities in Biddulph to hear about the £398,000 Reaching Communities lottery funding they have received for a project called M-Y-Voice which will be run out in Biddulph, Leek and Cheadle and which will run over 5 years.
M-Y-Voice (Mobile Youth Voice) is a young people community project targeting vulnerable young people in the Staffordshire Moorlands and Derbyshire. Forums will be set up to get young people to come along and debate and discuss politics and local issues and to talk about their aspirations.
“It was lovely to visit Ross and Ben in Biddulph and hear all about M-Y-Voice. Sporting Communities does such important work in the local community and I wish them the very best with this project.”
Ross Podyma, Director of Social Change at Sporting Communities said,
“We have been working in these neighbourhoods for 4 years using sport as a tool tackling specifically youth anti-social behaviour (ASB) and toxic influences associated with gangs.”
“We want to encourage young people make informed life choices, providing real alternatives that give them the confidence to take positive, collective action and allow them to voice their concerns through a recognised approach. It is therefore our aim to set up a versatile Youth Committee Groups (YCG), a type of user forum, which will be established in each area. Utilising our ex-local authority mobile youth service vehicle, we will deliver a regular service that provides an immediate presence and space for the YCGs to meet.”
“This will become a platform for disempowered young people to discuss things that matter to them and have their voices heard, strengthening their ability to speak out. It will also allow us to mentor young people and formally engage identified partners such as the Police, local authority and resident’s groups with the YCGs in an environment that young people have stated they would feel more comfortable.”
Once the YCGs have become more established, Sporting Communities will train young people through their Sports leadership UK academy, qualifying them in Volunteer Leadership from Level 1-3 over years 2, 3 and 4, giving them the skills to further develop this project and their ideas.