A group of Hastings teenagers have launched a £5,000 activities fund for primary school children in the town.
Darya, Jack, Esme, Suhaylah, Faheda, Chelsie and Isabel are members of the Young Ambassadors – part of the Hastings Opportunity Area. The group were given the opportunity to distribute funding for young people in Hastings, and chose to develop a fund which children can apply for themselves.
Groups of children aged five to 12 who live in Hastings and St Leonards can apply for grants of up to £400 to set up sport, arts, music, tech or outdoors activities that aren’t currently on offer in the area, and that also give them the chance to learn new skills, work as a team, make friends and have fun.
Speaking at an assembly to children from St Leonards Church of England Primary Academy, 15-year-old Darya Malekzai encouraged children who might not usually take part in activities to put their ideas forward.
The launch event was filmed by BBC Southeast, who also interviewed children at the primary school. One pupil said that she would like to set up a First Aid Club because she wanted to be a heart surgeon when she was older.
Richard Meddings, chairman of the Hastings Opportunity Area, said: “We have funded hundreds of activities for thousands of children over the last 12 months, but this is a very special project for us as it is being run by young people for young people.
“We eagerly await to see what wonderful ideas the children of Hastings and St Leonards send through.”
Applications can be made by groups of children with the help of an adult, either via a simple online form or a short video explaining their idea.
The application deadline is May 31, after which all applications will be reviewed by a panel including the Young Ambassadors, East Sussex County Council, Hastings Opportunity Area and Hastings Voluntary Action.
Esme Needham, a member of the Young Ambassadors, said: “We’re very excited to be able to give young people in Hastings and St Leonards opportunities for new experiences. We hope we get lots of applications and we can’t wait to hear their interesting ideas.”
For more information or to make an application visit www.hastingsopps.co.uk.