Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer stops by Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre before announcement on £1.5m funding boost to the Adventures Away From Home Fund
The Culture Secretary stopped by a New Forest activity centre this week in the run-up to a government announcement on a funding boost for youngsters.
Young people from Somerford Youth and Community Centre met with government Lucy Frazer during a visit to Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre, near Bransgore.
The outdoor education facility, which is home to the charity UK Youth, offers an array of adventurous learning opportunities including climbing, bush craft, canoeing and high ropes courses.
The ministerial visit came ahead of an announcement today (Wednesday) that the government will deliver a £1.5m funding boost to the Adventures Away From Home Fund.
As part of the programme, thousands of disadvantaged young people will have access to outdoor learning opportunities away from home so they can develop vital life skills, build confidence and resilience.
The fund will see disadvantaged youngsters, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), young carers and young people who are not in mainstream education given the chance to try new experiences and expand their horizons.
Last year the scheme enabled 3,500, 11 to 18-year-olds the opportunity to try out activities such a zip-wires and team building, which have been shown to boost attainment at school.
Ms Frazer said: “I want every young person to have the very best start in life, and that includes access to exciting opportunities that take them out of their comfort zone and expands their horizons.
“The Adventures Away from Home Programme will support 7,500 young people to take part in activities not usually available to them. It will help them develop new skills, build confidence and resilience.
“We will support one million more hours of activity for young people in youth centres and clubs to give them somewhere to go when the school day ends where they can enjoy positive activities.”
She continued: When I was appointed as Culture Secretary seven months ago I made it one of my priorities to support young people, and as part of that I want to make sure everyone has someone to talk to, somewhere to go and something to do.
“Today announcement that we will be funding places for 7,500 young people to take advantage of amazing places like Avon Tyrrell which builds on the 3,500 places that we created last year.
“Taking children outside the classroom creates a very different dynamic and they are able to work together – that is what I have been hearing today from the young people.”
As well as Adventures Away from Home the government has pledged to continue partnering with the National Lottery to deliver a £19m programme designed to enable youth clubs to stay open longer and offer more activities for young people.
The scheme is set to create more than one million additional hours of youth centre provision in areas with high numbers of antisocial behaviour incidents, by funding extra youth workers, volunteers, venue hire and activity resources for youth clubs.
National Lottery Community Fund chief executive David Knott said: “We’re proud to be working alongside DCMS to jointly fund the Million Hours Fund to bring much-needed additional youth provision and activities to young people living in England.”