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Bags of Fun for Local Isolating Young People

Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation has given Young Leicestershire an emergency grant of £4,800 from the National Emergencies Trust. The grant is to help young people stuck indoors during the lockdown and struggling with loneliness and poor mental health.

The grant will purchase the materials required to put packs of activities together, pay for volunteer expenses, and to cover basic costs for the team who are working tirelessly to provide support for some of the most disadvantaged young people in Leicestershire.

Young Leicestershire is the biggest provider of open-access clubs for young people in the city and county. Their goal is to provide their 27,000 young people with the “widest possible range of positive activities” through voluntary-sector services.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, many of us have been forced to isolate to avoid the virus. However, it’s not just older generations that have been subjected to this new way of life. There are a myriad of young people that have had to stay inside and away from others.

CEO of Young Leicestershire, Alison Jolley said: “We decided to do bags of fun which contained all sorts of different items that could keep young people physically active and mentally active.

“We had two sorts of bags—one for those stuck indoors, which had puzzle books, felt tips, juggling balls, stress balls, a game, packs of cards, coloured chalk, origami paper. The bag itself was a cotton bag that they could decorate. We also had an outdoor pack which had hula hoops, tennis balls, and similar things. We provided links to websites and our Facebook page with activity ideas. We ran a competition for the Best Bag Design.”

“Feedback has been amazing,” said Alison. “It’s been so amazing to have the Community Foundation grant and we’ve had parents saying how brilliant the packs have been. The process was incredibly easy. The Community Foundation followed all of the due diligence, of course, but we received payment straight away and didn’t have to wait. This helped us to get everything moving so much more quickly. We’re really grateful.”

Katy Green, CEO of Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation said “This is just one of over £600,000 in grants we have given in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland from the National Emergencies Trust, and from private donors who have added their help to local communities. We are delighted that Young Leicestershire has achieved so much for local young people.”