Youth Panel approves grants for community initiatives in County Durham

Young people in County Durham are being given the opportunity to have a final say on funding for community projects.

3 Towns Partnership’s (AAP) newly-formed Youth Panel gathered for the first time to assess applications for its Children and Young People’s Small Grants fund.

Jointly managed by the AAP and the Youth Panel, the fund awards grants between £200 and £500 to organisations for projects for children and young people up to age 19.

The ideas and applications must come from children and young people at the applying organisation, with the support from an adult within the organisation, and the final decision on which projects receive funding is made by the members of the Youth Panel.

Jay Conlon was a member of the Youth Panel as a teenager and is now supporting the panel in assessing applications as an adult 3 Towns Partnership public representative board member.

There are still spaces available on the panel, and Jay is encouraging any young person aged between 10 and 18 and living in the Crook, Willington or Tow Law to get involved.

He said: “As a young person, it was a great opportunity to be part of the panel responsible for the initial Children and Young People’s Small Grants, and it’s a great privilege to be supporting the delivery of the scheme with a new generation of young people and projects.

“The Small Grants scheme is a great way to support young people to gain real skills and take responsibility and ownership of ideas that matter to them.”

The Youth Panel has recently awarded £500 to Jack Drum Arts to hold workshops at its Building Our Planet Festival, a free festival for families which shares positive messages about what people can do to help prevent the impact of climate change.

The panel also awarded £500 to Natural High, a group which promotes music, dance and drama opportunities for young people, to purchase costumes for its upcoming production, Cinderella Rockerfella.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “The 3 Towns Partnership Youth Panel is a fantastic opportunity for children and young people to have their say on what projects they would like to see in their community. We would encourage any young person living in the 3 Towns area to get involved and would also encourage groups and organisations to involve children and young people in developing ideas for the Children and Young People’s Small Grants programme.”

Applications for the Children and Young People’s Small Grants scheme can be submitted before midday on Monday 17 April to be considered at the next Youth Panel meeting. Applicants who have received funding in the past are eligible to reapply.

For an application form and more information on the grants available, or to join the youth panel, call 03000 267539 or email