Young people in Scarborough meet The Prince and Princess of Wales culminating in new funding launched to support mental wellbeing
Two Ridings Community Foundation were privileged to host The Prince and Princess of Wales at The Street in Scarborough on Thursday 3 November 2022, culminating in the launch of £345,000 of funding to provide long term support for young people’s mental health.
Their Royal Highnesses met a panel of young people to discuss what helps them and their friends thrive, followed by engaging with three local charitable organisations working in Scarborough. They finished their visit with Two Ridings by meeting generous donors to the community foundation, all individuals keen to make a difference locally, and launching the £345,000 of funding.
The young people they met are part of a Two Ridings decision making panel of local people. The young people have all benefitted from the support of local community organisations in the town and live locally, so their understanding of real issues and their input into how funding should be distributed is vital to Two Ridings and their ethos of local people being at the heart of all they do.
The young people also shared their Manifesto for Change and discussed what is needed in Scarborough to support young people and which issues should be addressed and how. The manifesto highlighted the need for safe, comfortable spaces to ‘just be’, affordable sports and outdoor activities, youth mentoring and organisations taking their support on to the streets, providing it in locations where young people already are.
Katie Robinson, a young person from the panel said:
“Being on the panel has given me a proper confidence boost. I know what issues young people care about and what support and services they need, and I am actively involved in ensuring that change happens and is meaningful to all young people.
“It is great to be listened to and have our opinions count. We need safe spaces, affordable activities and preventative support for our mental health, not just crisis support.”
After being presented with a bouquet of locally grown flowers from a young girl supported by a Gallows Close Centre, The Prince and Princess went on to meet three community groups funded by Two Ridings, to hear their stories and understand fully their community needs and what activities and support help young people’s wellbeing.
Gallows Close Centre provide numerous activities for people of all ages at their community hub in Barrowcliff. They talked passionately about young people learning about growing and then cooking their own food, and also about the confidence that comes from doing activities together.
Two Ridings have been supporting Sidewalk Youth Project with grant funding since 2003. They have received eleven grants totalling £34,000 in that time.
Sidewalk talked to the Prince and Princess of Wales about their ‘detached youth work’, how they walk alongside and reach out to some of the most marginalised young people in Scarborough and also about the success of their youth mentors.
Steve Blower, Chief Executive of Sidewalk Youth Project explained more about the importance of funding and their approach to supporting young people:
“Funding is crucial in keeping the doors open for Sidewalk. Additional funding enables us to build rich, positive and ongoing connections with young people experiencing marginalisation, amplify their voice and train the next generation of relational youth work practitioners.
“Working directly with young people where they’re at; on the streets, at the skate-park, youth centres and mentoring in schools all provide vital support where young people can safely share their views, experiences and feelings through supportive contact. Funding like this enables this highly effective relational youth work to continue and grow in and around Scarborough.”
Flash Company Arts bring the decision making on how young people’s funding is spent back to the young people they support, ensuring that they have the power to choose their activities and what is most relevant to them. They brought along a collage and a synth for Their Royal Highnesses to have a go with, showing them what activities young people enjoyed.
The Prince and Princess then met and talked to local investors of the Two Ridings Community Foundation whose generous donations will fund the long-term support. Donors to Two Ridings are local people who want to put some of their family or business success back into the region, and on the day included a representative from the Liz & Terry Bramall Foundation and a local property developer.
For the donors, understanding the difference their donations make and seeing it in the room was a powerful moment.
As a result of the collaboration between the Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales and Two Ridings Community Foundation, £345,000 in funding was announced galvanising long term support for young people’s mental health in Scarborough. The funding will directly support groups just like the ones Their Royal Highnesses met.
Jan Garrill, Chief Executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation said:
“It has been incredibly exciting to host The Prince and Princess of Wales and introduce them to the work of a community foundation. Embedded in the region and with a deep understanding of issues different towns and areas face, Two Ridings forge long term, trusted relationships with donors and fund holders which is crucial to ensure we can support the projects and people that transform communities.
“The fund for Scarborough is the perfect opportunity to involve young people in decisions that affect them. Thanks to the visit by Their Royal Highnesses and the generosity of our donors, we can announce £345,000 to continue the work we have seen today. These funds are just the start, and we hope others show the same generosity and compassion and invest further in this work.
“To launch a fund in conjunction with the Royal Foundation is a real honour, not just for us, but for all community foundations around the country.
“Children and young people are one of our main beneficiaries at Two Ridings, and that’s because it is so important to get a good a start in life and then further support through tricky years. It’s great that this work is recognised by the visit.
“Community Foundations like Two Ridings are the means of uniting people and businesses who care passionately and want to invest locally with the grassroots charitable organisations that live and breathe supporting people.”
Amanda Berry, CEO, The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales said:
“Ensuring that young people have access to a wide range of mental health support is something that The Prince and Princess of Wales feel extremely passionate about. Tackling the stigma around mental health and ensuring that help is there for those who need it continues to be one of society’s biggest issues.
“The Royal Foundation is therefore delighted that by working with Two Ridings, we have played a pivotal role in galvanising funding to support the organisations doing this vital work in the community, creating a long-lasting impact for young people in Scarborough.”
His Royal Highness, having clearly taken in what the young people had discussed with them, gave a thought provoking speech at the end of his visit.
“We heard a lot upstairs about mental health priorities, safe spaces, places to go for young people after schools and food, these are particularly keen issues that seem to be resonating through the community today.
“I think, particularly on the mental health side of things, tackling that stigma, talking about mental health and providing services throughout the community are crucial to how we go forwards and deal with mental health issues that many, many people face.”
The funding announced will help community organisations who are intervening early to ensure that mental health issues don’t get to crisis point and can be prevented.
By creating and distributing funding locally, not only will young people in Scarborough benefit but the wider community will be stronger and more sustainable.
After leaving The Street, Their Royal Highnesses went on to visit The Rainbow Centre, a crucial centre in Scarborough with an open-door policy, helping anyone in need. At the centre they discussed how local people are coping with the cost of living crisis and saw and heard about the services the centre offer that make such a difference.