Youth Bank, a scheme popular in other parts of the UK was launched in Swansea to coincide with National Youth Work Week (1st-7th Nov 2008). Through a partnership with Swansea Council for Voluntary Service and Swansea Youth Service, Swansea's Youth Bank have £12,000 to distribute to youth-led projects across the county.
This grant-giving initiative aims to improve the quality of life in communities by enabling the active involvement of young people as members of those communities both as grant makers (setting priorities and making decisions) and as recipients of local Youth Bank grants (setting up new projects to benefit the local community).
Swansea Youth Bank allocates funding to young people aged 11-25 who wish to set up their own projects for the benefit of the wider community. The panel members have come together from various areas across Swansea and have been involved in writing criteria, designing applications, promoting the scheme and all the other requirements of getting a grant scheme off the ground. Since May, the volunteer's contributions have been invaluable and we were all pleased to get to the point where we could finally launch the project.
Below is an overview of the evening from Emily and Sarah (Youth Bank members)
'On the 4th November 2008 we launched Youth Bank in the Tokyo Bar in Oceana. After months of hard work and preparation we were ready to launch and hand out our funding. We put together a presentation indicating who we are, what we had been doing and what we wanted to do in the future. The official launch was attended by Councillor Alan Robinson, Gareth Jones (Principal Youth Officer), Carol Green (SCVS Director) as well as youth workers, youth organisations and other members of staff from SCVS. After this we talked to the young people that attended the Youth Service Big Brother presentation. Overall the launch was a great success and we all thoroughly enjoyed the evening.'
Swansea Youth Bank are now looking forward to receiving applications for the funds and making the decisions that will see new and exciting projects emerging in Swansea.
The next round of applications will be available around April / May 2009.
If you think you might like to apply in 2009, please contact Flik Walls, Swansea Youth Bank Co-ordinator on 01792 544030 or email email@example.com to register your interest so that you receive information for the next round.
More information on Youth Bank UK can be found at www.youthbank.org.uk