Liverpool church's play scheme receives £3,000 grant
A Liverpool church's play scheme has received a £3,000 grant from the Archbishop of York Youth Trust.
Christ Church, Norris Green, has been running the scheme at a local primary school since 2006.
It provides children from Norris Green, one of the most deprived areas in the country, with a safe place to play during the summer holidays.
The scheme is made possible by a team of more than 40 volunteers from the church and wider community. In addition, 12 young people enrolled to the Youth Apprentice scheme ran activities and helped out in the kitchen as well as setting up the venue under the mentorship of one of the senior staff volunteers.
One of them was Joanne McHugh, who was volunteering as a Youth Apprentice for the second time.
She said: "I have been at the play scheme from the beginning, and have come back each year and it's been invaluable to me. As a child myself, I would struggle to talk to anyone and was really shy. By being encouraged here to get involved and to talk to others in different age groups, it's really given me confidence. I'm about to leave secondary school - so there are lots of skills I have learnt here that will help me with the future."
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This year, up to 85 children attended the scheme each day and overall, 150 were registered to participate.
The Reverend Helen Edwards, Vicar at Christ Church, said: "Whole generations of the local community are involved, from the children aged five upwards, returning young leaders at secondary school age who are coming back as role models for the younger children, volunteers who give up their annual leave entitlement to serve, and older members - some of whom are over 80 - help with our refreshments.
"The cost of providing stimulating craft, sport and day trips is significant and funding is getting much harder. Without the support from organisations like the Youth Trust, we could not provide the high standard of activities which engage the children and help them build their confidence."
Dan Finn, Director of the Youth Trust said: "As a Trust, we are passionate about young people and helping them to engage with their local community. We are also actively seeking to support more youth projects that encourage children and young people to engage with their local area and 'be the change they want to see'. The play scheme at Christchurch Norris Green is exceptional - it is a real highlight for so many people in the local community. It's been great to support this project through our grant making programme."
Watch the video of the Archbishop of York's Youth Trust visit to Christ Church Norris Green play scheme: