A grant of almost £30,000 awarded by the Black Country Community Foundation is helping to reduce anti-social behaviour and vandalism in Dudley and reinstate a sense of community pride in one of the borough’s most deprived wards.
The St Andrew’s Residents’ Trust applied for support to help launch a Community Drop In Centre. The Trust team, of more than 30 volunteers, is tasked with providing recreational and educational activities for local residents of the ward which numbers around 12,400. Until recently, residents needed to travel to other areas of the borough to access this type of activity as the Ward itself houses no facilities of this kind.
The funding from the Black Country Community Foundation, which is administered by the Birmingham Community Foundation based in Nechells, has enabled the Drop In Centre to be opened as well as support other related activities generated by this invaluable facility. These have included the organisation of a programme of events for 120 children during February half term, assisting 10 14 to 17-year-olds to gain experience through the Introduction to Youth Work course run by Dudley Youth Service and helping eight adults to pass the First Aid at Work course which has improved their employment opportunities.
Trevor Randle, chairman of StART said: “The grant has provided a programme of holiday events, trips and activities for the community to enjoy as well as a drop in centre that is working to fully engage the community.
‘‘For the first time residents living in St Andrews are able to benefit from activities that have been available elsewhere. We cannot thank the Birmingham Community Foundation enough for their help and support in creating a new lease of life for this area.”
John Andrews, chairman of the Black Country Foundation, said: “The community is seeing tangible results from this funding including increased employment and education opportunities. This is the second grant that we have awarded to this group. The first enabled a junior fishing club to be set up which was fully subscribed within four weeks and has a waiting list of 25.”