The Yard Celebrates National Lottery Funding
The Yard project at St Edmundsbury Cathedral is celebrating after being awarded £10,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work with young people. The group, based at the Cathedral, will use the money to continue its community youth work over the next 12 months.
The Yard is an area of the Cathedral that was previously left overgrown. It has been redeveloped as part of a social action project for young people. The project’s aim is to create a dedicated place for young people in the Cathedral gardens and a space they can make their own. The Yard has been designed to offer a safe space where young people can come and spend time, learn new skills, meet new friends and improve their mental health, wellbeing and resilience. Activities include scrap-woodworking, eco crafts, firepit cooking and lots more.
The calm and peaceful location of the Yard, combined with small group sizes and a relaxed atmosphere that takes things at each young person’s pace, has proved particularly positive for the young visitors. Feedback consistently shows that their wellbeing improves after time spent at The Yard. Responses to a wellbeing survey undertaken in summer 2022 showed that 80% of young people’s mood and wellbeing increased after their visit and 20% showed no change but started with a ‘really good’ or ‘fantastic’ mood to begin with. Attendees are also seeing other benefits such as learning new skills, increased confidence and learning to make decisions.
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will allow for the project to continue to offer sessions for young people in need.
Jane Dow, Project Lead of The Yard, says: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to support more young people to increase their wellbeing after the challenges of lockdown. There is very strong evidence that outdoor projects like The Yard can be tremendously helpful in helping young people to restore mental health and build community.”
The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030. As part of this, the funder has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives.
National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities.
To find out more visit TNLCommunityFund.org.uk