Local youth groups react after Coronation Youth Fund awards

More than 25 local groups have been awarded £700,000 to help support young people in H&F.

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Children from DanceWest perform at the launch of H&F's King Charles III Coronation Youth Fund

More than 25 local groups have been awarded £700,000 to help support young people in Hammersmith & Fulham.

The funding comes from the first round of our new £1million King Charles III Coronation Youth Fund that is designed to support 11 to 24-year-olds in Hammersmith & Fulham.

These grants represent a record level of council funding for H&F youth services, with half of the grants allocated to sports and leisure infrastructure projects.

The reaction to the funding awards from local groups has been hugely positive. See below for details of some of the projects and their reaction:

  • Sands End Arts & Community Centre

    Sands End Arts & Community Centre – basketball courts

    The Sands End Arts & Community Centre (SEACC) in Fulham has received £34,000 for the refurbishment of South Park’s basketball courts.

    The basketball courts’ refurbishment was the idea of Fulham resident Harrison McIntosh, 15, who discovered his love of basketball six years ago. He now plays at least three times a week during the school holidays, and at the weekends during term time.

    With the help of SEACC chair Timothy Prager, Harrison applied to the Youth Fund in the hopes of improving South Park’s courts. In the meantime, to get their basketball fix, they’ve started the South Park Basketball Club – a free club open to everyone, no matter their ability or experience.

    “The good thing about the courts is that everyone’s really social, so it doesn’t matter your skill level,” Harrison explained.  

    “They’re always super kind, they play with you, they create various teams, and you can always be involved if you want. And I think better quality courts will bring even more people and we’ll be able to organise more events. I will go much more after the improvements – I think everyone will. It will be great for the community.”

    Sands End Arts & Community Centre – music studio

    The Sands End Arts & Community Centre (SEACC) in Fulham has received £26,705 for a new recording studio.

    The professional music studio is being supported by Fulham resident, and professional musician, Gregg Kofi Brown, who is match funding H&F’s grant. The studio will be available for experienced artists as well as newcomers to use and enjoy.

    “The grant will be transformative because you can’t do something like this without a serious piece of investment, and it’s great that the H&F Council has seen the potential of the project,” explained SEACC’s chief executive Christopher Newport.

    The music studio will support SEACC’s plans to host three free 12-week music programmes a year, all aimed at local young people. Each session will focus on a different theme, including song composition and song writing, musical arrangements, and recording techniques.

    “It’s a hugely exciting programme,” Christopher added. “The equipment we’ll be getting isn’t just the basics. We’ll be buying amplifiers, instruments, software, computers, this will be a professional set up.”

    At the end of each 12-week programme the young people will have a unique piece of music, made using the tools and equipment they worked with throughout the course.

    “The studio will give a lot of kids the chance to do something which they would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise,” Christopher explained.

    “And who knows? They could try this out and maybe see it as a potential career, whether it’s music or the technical side. We have a chance to uncover and support local talent.”

  • DanceWest

    Fulham-based dance school, DanceWest, received £14,956 from The King Charles III Coronation Youth Fund and will be putting the money towards supporting their extensive programme of activities.

    “We’re delighted to have received this support,” said Rosie Whitney-Fish, chief executive and founder of DanceWest.

    “We’re a local charity providing residents with free access to high quality health and wellbeing programmes, and this initiative comes at a crucial time, as we help families to navigate the challenges posed by the cost-of-living crisis.

    “The funding will enable DanceWest to provide inclusive activities for children and young people, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to lead a healthy and happy life.

    “The DanceWest programme will have a transformative impact on the next generation of Hammersmith & Fulham residents, we are incredibly grateful for the support from H&F’s Coronation Youth Fund.”

  • The White City Theatre Project

    The White City Theatre Project will be dividing their £6,000 of funding between two of their annual projects, the White City Youth Theatre’s Spring 2024 production and their ReAct Festival 2024.

    “We’re still deciding on a script for our Youth Theatre performance, but we will be bringing in a professional young director and the funding will support that,” explained Lucy Foxell, chief executive and founder of the White City Theatre Project.

    Once the script is decided, the young creatives rehearse weekly every Monday night until their first performance at the end of March.

    The Theatre Project’s ReAct Festival takes place in four H&F schools, Hammersmith Academy, Phoenix Academy, Fulham Cross Academy and Fulham Cross Girls.

    Every Year 8 pupil takes part in a two-hour drama workshop before 10 students from each school are chosen to create a theatre piece that they perform at the Lyric Hammersmith.

    “We often chose young people who may have fallen under the radar or who have never worked creatively before,” added Lucy.

    “It’s a really lovely experience because they get to bond and make new friends, and perform in a professional theatre in front of live audiences.

    “It’s incredible and across the board it’s been the most positive experience. We’ve had incredible feedback and we’re really excited to deliver it for a third year. Thank you for giving us the funding.”

    Four young people performing in a circle, facing different directions

    Young people performing as part of a White City Theatre Project performance

  • Lyric Hammersmith

    The Lyric Hammersmith theatre received £27,792 for their Lyric Learning campaign. It offers local schools free tickets and the chance to take part in projects related to the Lyric’s mainstage shows.

    Amy Belson, executive director at the Lyric Hammersmith, said:

    “We are delighted to receive this grant from the King Charles III Coronation Youth Fund which will support our work with H&F Schools and young people under 25 in 2024.

    “Our Lyric Learning Campaign will extend our offer to local schools, so please spread the word and encourage young people and schools to get in touch with our outstanding Young Lyric team and take part!”

  • Nourish Hub

    Shepherds Bush community kitchen, the Nourish Hub, has been awarded £16,000. It will help fund a variety of free food education sessions across the borough.

    Inspired by parent charity UKHarvest’s NourishED programme, young people will get the chance to get their hands dirty, cook and explore new recipes while learning how to get creative with leftovers and reduce food waste.

    “This funding will provide an incredible opportunity for UKHarvest to be able to target young people and give them the skills necessary to cook well for less, prevent household food waste and ultimately increase their quality of life,” said Yvonne Thompson, chief executive at UKHarvest.

    “We are extremely grateful for this opportunity and am sure it will make a sustainable difference to the lives of all the young people we work with.”

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    Eating a nutritious lunch at the Nourish Hub

    Since opening its doors in 2022 in St Ann’s Road, the Nourish Hub has established itself as the go-to destination for local people to come together and eat deliciously nutritious meals on a pay-what-you-can basis.

    Thanks to its high-end training kitchen, the hub has delivered dozens of culinary training sessions for all ages and abilities to broaden culinary horizons and get people from the local community cooking.

    “We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to engage even more local young people in our NourishED programme”, said Ffion Hayward, manager of the Nourish Hub.

    “We have seen the impact the rising cost of food prices had had on families, so we are thrilled to have to opportunity to equip local young people with the knowledge, confidence and skills to eat healthy on a budget whilst access to minimal equipment.”

    Pop by for a friendly chat with neighbours over a hot meal from its ever-changing veggie menu Monday to Friday, Noon to 3pm.

    Or start the day with a community breakfast, every other Friday. Sign up for the next event on Friday 22 September from 9am.

    The sessions are set to teach people to cook low-cost nutritious meals and share essential food saving tips suitable for every budget.

  • Fulham Reach Boat Club

    Fulham Reach Boat Club received £15,798 from the King Charles III Coronation Youth Fund.

    The water sports club will use the grant to increase their work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, through their partnerships with H&F schools.

    Chief executive Adam Freeman-Pask, said: “We are proud to be working with H&F Council and to be able to make a positive difference by providing exciting opportunities to learn new skills and empowering young people.”

    Young people from lower socio-economic groups and ethnic minorities are significantly underrepresented in the sport of rowing. Just over six per cent of rowers registered with British Rowing and only 14 per cent of rowers nationally are from ethnically diverse backgrounds communities.

    In contrast, 74 per cent of young people attending Fulham Reach Boat Club’s free sessions over the summer were from diverse ethnic communities and 55 per cent of participants were from deprived areas of the borough.

    In addition to offering life changing opportunities to young people, the grant will help Fulham Reach provide teacher training to H&F schools, so they can continue to motivate and support young people to be active.

    A girl pushes off the dock in her blue kayak

    Kayaking with Fulham Reach Boat Club

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Cllr Ben Coleman, Cllr Sharon Holder, Cllr Stephen Cowan and Kevin McGrath, Representative Deputy Lord Lieutenant for H&F, launch the King Charles III Coronation Youth Fund with DanceWest

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