Forres Academy pupils will vote on which youth space and activities projects to finance with £60,000 participatory budgeting funding
FORRES Academy pupils are being invited to choose projects to fund that will make a positive difference to the lives of young people in the area.
Moray Council’s Community Support Unit (CSU) is helping the students have a say in how a total of £60,000 available will be spent - every pupil will be offered the chance to vote which community youth projects are funded through participatory budgeting.
Community Support Officer, Laura Cameron, confirmed voluntary groups and community organisations are invited to bid for a share of: £40,000 to support development of a local community-run youth space; and £20,000 for youth activities.
She said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to enhance provision for young people in the Forres Associated Schools Group.
"With the funding covering both activities and youth space type projects, there is a chance to host a range of activities that will ensure the needs of young people are met.
"The criteria has been set by young people and the successful projects will be voted on by young people."
The CSU and partners have been working with young people to explore opportunities to introduce new activities, support ongoing work and set up safe meeting places where 11-16-year-olds can get together at evenings and weekends.
Opened in 2015, Forres Area Youth Zone (FAYZ) at Forres House Community Centre provided a modern, safe environment with entertainment for young people three evenings-a-week. Moray Council closed the facility in 2018.
Laura said: "A youth space was developed upstairs at the centre. The project ended when young people decided it was no longer meeting their needs and stopped going."
The young people currently working with the CSU have agreed to prioritise projects which support themes: physical activity; mental health and wellbeing; creative arts; and/or minority representation.
Shortlisted applicants to the Youth Spaces Fund will be invited to Forres Academy on June 15 to give a 10 minute pitch to a pupils panel. They will be asked to explain more about their project and how they intend to involve young people in design and delivery.
"Groups applying need to be formalised or have the backing of a formalised group," added Laura. "The funding can be used for venue hire or staff costs as well as equipment.
"The application would need to clearly set out what the group(s) would do, how they would make it accessible and how young people would be involved in planning.
"The group(s) would need to ensure they had relevant safeguards in place such as insurance, PVG checks, and vulnerable groups training."
Applicants to the youth activities funding stream can secure up to £4000 per project. Applications that meet at least one of the criteria will be put to a whole school vote on the same day, with those receiving the highest number of votes from the pupils awarded a share of the funding.
Laura said: "Activities fund voting will take the form of a ballot paper to allow all young people who wish to vote to do so.
"The youth space fund will see shortlisted groups give a presentation to school assemblies and the projects will then be voted on. The groups with the most votes from each category will go forward to receive funding."
Applications for Youth Activities close at 5pm on Friday, May 26 and Youth Spaces on Friday, June 2 at 5pm.
Youth spaces application https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/68BSVVV
Youth activities application https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/R78QGYF
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