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Funding will help youngsters in Stapleford follow their dreams


A brand-new project in Stapleford is set to empower young people from mixed-race backgrounds to find their way in life.

‘Mix and Blenz’ has been launched by Chayah Development Project, and aims to help youngsters follow their dreams while solving issues that some mixed-race families within Nottinghamshire communities may face.

The project has been boosted by £10,000 of funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire’s Make Notts Safe Community Chest grant.

Chayah, who aim to improve general wellbeing in the areas they are working in, as well as tackle antisocial behaviour, gang and drug related crime, has identified that multi-ethnic young people have specific needs and difficulties that are linked to deprivation, social isolation and educational exclusion.

Issues can range from a lack of key skills such as being able to cook basic food, to knowing which hair and skincare products they should be using.

As well as helping individuals, Chayah plan to also work with parents to assist them in fully understanding how early intervention activities help address the consequences of crime and antisocial behaviour. 

Hya Francis-Watson, Regional Manager of Chayah Development Project, was overwhelmed when she heard the organisation was successful in its funding bid for the Mix and Blenz project.

She said she believed the funding will help make a massive difference to people’s lives.

“We’ve moved into Stapleford and found that there are some mixed-race families who are struggling with knowing who they are and where they fit in,” she said.

“They also find it difficult when it comes to food and culture, as well as other things like getting the right hair care so we’re aiming to empower them so that they know who they are and to be happy within themselves.

“I’m blessed to have a family who have always known what to do, but I have got a friend who wasn’t as fortunate and struggled with skin care.

“We want to help those people move forward and live the best lives they possibly can. The message from us it doesn’t matter what your background is, follow your dreams and don’t let that hold you back.”

Chayah are one of 12 organisations to have secured funding with more than £72,000 being distributed after applications for the latest round of the Community Chest opened in September.

The Community Chest provides seed corn and other funding for third sector community-based organisations to enable local delivery against PCC priorities in the Make Notts Safe Plan.

These priorities are: Preventing crime and protecting people from harm; responding efficiently and effectively to local needs; and supporting victims, survivors, witnesses and communities.

Examples of how the money could be used include funding community events to build trust and confidence in Nottinghamshire Police; running small scale activities for young people at risk, undertaking outreach or awareness-raising initiatives, or purchasing small items of equipment for community initiatives.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, who delivered the news of Chayah’s successful bid, said: “One of the things I do in my role is provide funding to some incredible grassroot organisations who carry out outstanding work in our communities.

“Our Community Chest allows those organisations to apply for help with their projects and we’re delighted to be granting Chayah £10,000 towards the Mix and Blenz outreach project.

“It was a really strong bid for an area they’ve not worked in before, so we’re really excited to see the impact it can have.”

To see a video of Hya being told of the grant funding success, CLICK HERE.

Posted on Tuesday 12th December 2023
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