Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) has announced grant funding awards amounting to nearly £40,000 for several youth projects in and around Southampton to help disenfranchised young people to learn new technical, behavioural and communication skills. 

The Ford Southampton Community Fund, which is administered by HIWCF, prioritises projects that teach 11–25-year-olds new skills such as mechanics, carpentry or STEM with grants awarded between £1,000 and £6,000. 

Monty’s Community Hub, which is based in Sholing, has been awarded £6,000 to continue its Youth Bikes Project and to offer new cycle BMX skills, coaching and social networking for young people. 

Josh Allen, Project Co-ordinator for Monty’s Bike Hub, said:  “We are very grateful to Ford and HIWCF for continuing to fund our Youth Bikes Project. This funding will have an amazing impact on local young people from our estate, helping them to learn practical skills as well as being mentored.  

Our young people become part of a community that will support their needs and reduce the likelihood of them being involved in antisocial behaviour and crime. We also run activities that get them out of their comfort zone to improve their confidence riding on the roads – helping them get safely and sustainably to college or potential work opportunities.” 

A community interest company working to provide IT and Media services based in St Mary Street, Southampton, was awarded £5,864 to support young people that are not in education, employment or training (NEET) into work experience placements. 

Drop the Mask’s Founding Director, Greg White said: “This grant will allow us to create valuable resources that will be able to make effective long-lasting change to the lives of disadvantaged people that are struggling to find work and directly offer employment, vocational training and experience to one young person from a similar background.” 

Itchen Sixth Form College (pictured above) was awarded £5,324 to set up Skills Boot Camps in carpentry, construction, digital and enterprise for NEET young people aged 14-19. The boot camps will give young people the opportunity to try a sector-specific activity and learn more about potential future pathways in a supportive learning environment.  

Funding Manager, Jo Brooke said: “Itchen College believes in raising aspirations and improving life chances by engaging participants in activities that support and develop their skills, knowledge and experiences. This funding will help us engage NEET young people into learning new skills and exploring new sectors through Skills Boot Camps which give young people the opportunity to try a sector-specific activity and to build up sector-specific skills as a pathway into education and employment.” 

HIWCF CEO, Jacqui Scott said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership once again with Ford to really target grants into the areas of our county where they are needed most. Trusted non-profits offering employability skills can be life changing for a young person, especially when they have come from difficult backgrounds or who have struggled with mainstream schooling. The groups that have been awarded grant funding are already working hard to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people and we’re proud to be working alongside them to create lasting change.” 

Other grant awardees include: