Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Government names successful projects to help young people unlock their talents

Successful projects sharing a multi million fund to help young people from poorer communities to unlock their talents are named today by Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton and Minister for Women and Equality Harriet Harman.

Fifteen projects from deprived neighbourhoods across England will share the £10million pot - the areas chosen having identified low aspiration as a barrier to their young people achieving their potential. Projects from Barking and Dagenham, Cumbria, Manchester, Rotherham, Stoke on Trent, Barnsley, Kent and Bristol are among the ones chosen.

The Inspiring Communities initiative is about getting people in communities working together to boost the aspirations and achievements of their young people. It includes projects broadening young people’s horizons by setting up volunteering programmes, visits to university campuses, theatres and museums; projects providing advice to young people to undertake work experience placements, further and higher education; and projects raising parents’ aspirations and self confidence so they can support their children to make the most of opportunities available to them.

Harriet Harman and Rosie Winterton today visited Vibe Youth Club in Barking and Dagenham.

Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton said:

"We need to allow talented youngsters, no matter where they live or what their parents do, to fulfil their potential. We recognise that young people from poorer communities can be less likely to aim high and can have low self esteem, low aspirations and limited horizons that act as barriers to success.

"This fund is about taking steps to redress that balance and goes to support those community-led projects that will best foster young people’s talents. Funding will help young people broaden their horizons, grow in confidence and learn about opportunities that are available to them. ”

Minister for Women and Equality Harriet Harman said:

"We know that inequality is grounded not just in who you are but your family or the place you were born. Better-off children overtake more able, poorer children at school by the age of six. 
"The Inspiring Communities partnerships are important steps forward in achieving fair and equal chances for all."

Parents, schools, businesses, third-sector organisations and local agencies will run the initiatives – bringing together as many people and organisations as possible who can help youngsters on the road to success.

To ensure local people can make the most difference to help young people achieve their potential, the projects will be working in innovative ways such as pooling and aligning budgets between partners to achieve the best value for money and best delivery of services.

Among the successful projects are:


  • Barking and Dagenham’s activities will include community gardening, parental support and advice services, a community youth radio station and volunteer mentoring;
  • A Stoke on Trent project will provide visits to university campuses and colleges for local young people;
  • A project in Kent will arrange visits to workplaces, local artists and Dragon’s Den type activities;
  • In North East Lincolnshire young people will be able to learn about careers in the Fire and Rescue Service including having the opportunity to achieve a BTEC qualification in fire and rescue;
  • A Rotherham project will provide parent mentoring and help with understanding school grades and study opportunities; and
  • A social enterprise project in Norfolk will set up a community café providing training and work experience for the whole community including growing their own produce for the café.


Inspiring Communities is a joint initiative from Communities and Local Government, the Department for Children Schools and Families and the Cabinet Office. It has also secured support right across Whitehall, with a further 11 Government departments committed to encouraging ambitious and creative work locally.

Schools Minister Diana Johnson said:
"We are making good progress in narrowing attainment gaps but it is essential that we continue to target children and young people who live in deprived communities because they may not have the confidence to put themselves forward for opportunities to learn new skills, and their parents may have similarly low aspirations. 
"We know that parents are the most important factor in a child's educational achievement which is why the projects announced today will be run by parents, schools and businesses together. I hope that the exciting volunteering and work placement experiences – like gaining qualifications in fire and rescue - will help to break the link between disadvantage and attainment so that we can further reduce inequalities.”

Minister for the Third Sector Angela Smith said:

"I am pleased to see the work of the Cabinet Office's Social Exclusion Task Force come to fruition with DCLG's announcement of the 15 successful 'Inspiring Communities'. The Task Force has demonstrated that by targeting young people in deprived communities and working with parents, teachers and neighbourhoods, we can really make a difference and help raise young people's aspirations and educational attainment. This is a great new initiative; building on the Government's commitment to tackle social exclusion and promote social mobility."

Notes to editors

The full list of projects are:

Barking and Dagenham - Heath Ward: activities will include community gardening, parental support and advice services, a community youth radio station and volunteer mentoring;

Barnsley – Kendray and Worsbough Bank End: activities include a young people’s leadership programme, parental advice services, financial management activities and the opportunity to design a house.

Blackburn with Darwen – Darwen Central: activities include role model programmes, parent advice support programmes and open the door programmes with visits to local/national companies.

Bolton – Tonge with the Haulgh: activities include career shadowing opportunities performing arts programme, peer tutors and mentors and the provision of a youth club.

Bradford – IN Community (East Bradford): activities, include the use of personal electronic portals for young people to track achievements, mentoring and coaching programmes, enterprise and creativity programmes and the use of Community Foundation grants

Bristol – Henbury: activities include Parental Support Advisers, Summer University Programmes, Business Link programmes and community volunteering.
– Central and Hindpool: activities include developing coaching and mentoring programmes, junior Wardens programme and Streets Sports programmes.

Kent – East Folkestone (Shepway): activities include arranging visits to workplaces, local artists and ‘Dragon’s Den’ type activities.

Lancashire – Colne Primet: activities include role model programmes, parental advisers and family support outreach services as well as ‘Dragons Den’ style participatory budgeting activities.

Manchester – Gorton South: activities include a parent’s network, Saturday school classes, and a police training programme for youth constables.

Norfolk – Saxon and Abbey Wards (Thetford): activities include running a community café as a social enterprise that will act as a vibrant community focal point and provide training opportunities, voluntary and work experience placements and information and signposting services. Intergenerational gardening programme, a school and community radio station, and skills swaps are some of the other activities on offer.
North East Lincolnshire
– The Willows: activities include self esteem and self confidence building programmes, mentoring projects, community learning projects and enterprise challenges such as ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Dragon’s Den’ type activities.

Rotherham – Rawmarsh: activities include parent mentoring and a children’s University programme.

South Tyneside – East Shields: activities include team building and problem solving activities, community volunteering and skills workshops.

Stoke on Trent – Dresden, Normacot and Florence: activities include young enterprise programme, community volunteers programme, parental support advisers and reading champions.



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