Community First Reaching New Heights

Kirsty Healey attended the St Georges Youth Project as a teenager for a bit of fun but ended up finding a vocation.

When Community First came to Ovenden at the beginning of 2012, offering small grants to local community groups, the St Georges Youth Project was granted £2,500 in the first round of funding to pay for a Youth Worker apprentice. Kirsty, who was already helping out as a volunteer with younger members of the project applied for the job and was successful.

Left: Kirsty half way up Scafell Pike
Right: Sara (Kirsty’s Line Manager) who also completed the 3,200ft mountain climb

As well as completing a NVQ level 2 qualification and making a start on level 3, over the past six months Kirsty has mainly been working on the Groundwork Project, which provides opportunities for young people aged 12 – 16 years to learn arts, woodwork and cooking skills.

Youngsters get to try new things, work as a team and interact socially and for the benefit of the local community; the young people have cleaned up the area around the for the New Horizons coffee shop, made planters, spray painted the Noah’s Ark logo on the container at the side of the shop and are currently making a mosaic for the side of the charity shop.

Kirsty says she wasn’t very well behaved child at school and didn’t get brilliant GCSE results but working at St Georges has given her the opportunity to make something of herself and aim towards a successful career. She plans to go to university eventually.

“If it hadn’t been for people believing in me and pushing me to achieve my goals I’m not really sure what I would be doing right now. What I do know is that I wouldn’t of learnt half the stuff that I know now, not only about this line of work but about myself!”

St Georges Youth Project recently secured a further £2,400 from Community First to extend Kirsty’s apprenticeship for a further 6 months.

4 More Projects Approved for Grants in October

To date 12 local projects have received funding at a total value of £26,589 from the Ovenden Community First Panel.

At its meeting on Monday 29 October 2012, the panel recommended a further 4 projects for funding.

St George’s Youth Project £4,900 To fund an apprentice youth worker
OSCA foundation £2,500 To improve public access to playing fields
Noah’s Ark Centre £4,795 To pay for professional supervision for volunteer counsellors
Lee Mount and Ovenden Events Committee £2,500 To organise Shrogg’s Park gala and purchase a marquee
Ovenden RLFC £1,800 To purchase a range of sports equipment and pay for publicity
22nd Halifax Boys Brigade £972.66 To purchase a new table tennis and pool table
Dads ‘R’ Us £1,000 To purchase a range of gardening equipment
Lee Mount Girls Brigade £1,000 New laptops
Ovenden Girls and Ladies Sport £2,490 A range of sports equipment
Lee Mount Variety Productions £2,500 Stage lights, microphones, headsets
Crossley Juniors FC £1,000 Football equipment
Laurel Crescent Bowls Club £1132 Bowls Green maintenance work
Grand Total £26,589.66

Click here>> to find out how to apply for the next round of Ovenden Community First before the closing date Thursday 31 January 2012.