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Christchurch Activities for Young People

Christchurch Activities for Young People

Many children and young people want to participate in activities to meet new people and grow in confidence. Activities and recreational events can however be costly and for some this can mean that they do not participate.

Christchurch Activities for Young People was set up in 2013 with the aim of helping young people aged 8-19 and their families to lead more positive and productive lives by helping them develop skills and improve their self-esteem, confidence and emotional wellbeing. 

Many families who seek the support of Christchurch Activities for Young People are from deprived backgrounds, have additional needs and may be in a crisis situation. This often causes them to face barriers and challenges to fulfilling a positive future which are not addressed by other agencies or support services. 

Christchurch Activities for Young People offers a range of services, from providing fun and affordable activities for young people and their families, to 1:1 individualised support and mentoring for young people. 

Through day activities, family days out and residential trips away, they are able to help improve the lives of children, young people and their families across the Christchurch area by increasing their emotional wellbeing and the future opportunities of young people. 

Jae Harris, Coordinator of Christchurch Activities for Young People speaks about the need of their charity at the start of the programme and the impact of funding cuts on their local area:

Christchurch activities for young people

The charity we have set up is as a response to the increased need of our community due to ongoing cuts in public services. For example, the charity is just taking on the running and management of the local youth club which is being closed down by the Local Authority as a result of funding cuts.closing speech marks

Christchurch Activities for Young People apply for grants to assist in subsidising the activities they offer, in order to remove cost as a barrier for their beneficiaries.

Jae was introduced to Reiko Vermeulen from Queen Mary University of London through the Small Charities Coalition as part of the Cabinet Office Fundraising Training programme.

Jae explained about the process of their match so far:

We are just setting up as a small charity and it was very useful to get the support of the Small Charities Coalition. Through this we were matched with Reiko who has written grant applications before for youth focused charities.
Reiko and I met in London because for me it was important to talk face to face with our supporter in order to give her a clear picture of our organisation, the work we do and why we do it. It also enabled us to fully answer any questions that she may have had about us.
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Reiko informed us of what happened after she was matched with Christchurch Activities for Young people:

From my perspective, our match has involved getting to know the charity and understanding the intricate situation that the charity is in and the specific needs of the charity.closing speech marks

Reiko went on to explain her motivations for the match:  

I used to work as a fundraiser for a children's charity, but no longer work in the charity sector. This match has offered me the opportunity to keep up to date with developments in charity fundraising, to continue to make use of my fundraising knowledge and skills, and to volunteer for a cause I very much care about.
Professionally, it's also interesting and beneficial for me to experience how different organisations operate.
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Jae explained the suitability of the match in the following way:

Reiko has a lot of what I would call "professional grant writing experience" and this was of great use to us. We hope that with the support of Reiko and the Small Charities Coalition we will be able to secure some decent amount of funding which increases our sustainability as an organisation.closing speech marks

Reiko explains the highlights of the match for her:

Two main highlights for me were meeting Jae in person and listening to his vision and passion for the charity. I find it inspiring to meet and listen to people with such strong personal drive; and to hear that one of the grant applications I had helped with had been successful.closing speech marks

Jae is also finding the process incredibly rewarding, highly valuing Reiko’s expertise.

Christchurch Activities for Young People

Having Reiko as a supporter and someone who is able to offer us some time to help us with our grant applications is of great support. We have already been granted 1300 of funding as a result of an application Reiko has helped us with. She has also assisted us with a grant application of just under 27k which is the biggest single application we have ever done. Having Small Charities Coalition supporting us too means that there is another body to turn to when we need to find an answer to a query we may have.closing speech marks

Future Plans

Reiko informed us that she will continue to offer fundraising advice and assist Christchurch Activities for Young People with grant applications as and when they arise.
Reiko went on to explain her recommendations for others interested in supporting a small charity:

Being matched through the skills matching scheme offers an excellent opportunity for anyone wanting to volunteer, but don't know where to start and/or would like some flexibility.
Personally when I stopped working as a fundraiser, I wanted to carry on being engaged with charities as a volunteer, but my personal situation was not really compatible with being able to make regular and frequent commitments. Small Charities Coalition suggests a variety of ways in which you can be engaged and this is communicated to the charity you are matched to support, and this set up has been perfect for me.
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The increased funding and sustainability allows Christchurch Activities for Young People to carry on and grow the variety of activities they subsidise and the number of young people they help. This skills match showcases the huge impact that skills sharing can have on allowing small charities to do their great work and continue to improve the lives of their beneficiaries.


Match still ongoing.

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