Known locally as the CYDS Project, this charity is an open access drop-in centre for young people aged 8-25 years.  It works across a rurally isolated part of East Suffolk from its base in the town of Leiston.  The Project runs a series of afternoon sessions focussing on assisting NEET young people – these are open sessions in both Leiston and nearby Saxmundham.  Assistance is provided around helping the young people with preparing CVs, tips on telephone and interview techniques, applying for jobs, participating in volunteering or community activities, and helping them find more positive activities and experiences.  The Project also runs evening sessions offering a safe space for young people to meet in.

The request to the Foundation was for funding to restart a young parents and expectant mums group.  A number of young people had asked for these sessions and a dedicated group would bring a wide range of benefits to the young parents and their babies/children.  These include increased self-esteem, greater aspirations, better knowledge of services and more positive relationships with families. A grant of £2,000 was awarded in October 2023 towards this work.

Community Chaplaincy Norfolk was set up to support the needs of people leaving prison and resettling in Norfolk.  It works with people of all or no faith, and aims to reduce re-offending, complimenting the overstretched statutory services that help people.  The Chaplaincy works from St Stephen’s Church in Norwich and runs drop-in support as well as one-to-one all-round assistance.  This can be with issues such as help accessing accommodation, benefits, work, or drugs support, and advice, advocacy and emotional support.  At any one time around 35 prison-leavers are receiving mentoring and support from CCN staff and trained volunteers.

In October 2023, the Foundation awarded funding to the Chaplaincy towards its core running costs.  The grant covers a two-year period, totalling £8,000.  Intended outcomes from the period include that around 60 people per annum will receive support and the likelihood of their re-offending will be reduced; that eight to ten new volunteers will be recruited; and that prison leavers will be supported to successfully reintegrate into the community.

www.norfolkchaplaincy.org.uk