The Bedford Giving’s Parent Panel has awarded its second round of grants to organisations to help young children in Bedford to thrive, reaching a total of nearly £80,000 in funding.
Bedford Giving is a collaborative project bringing together funders, businesses and residents to help improve the lives of children and young people in Bedford.
Under its grants programme, it has brought together local parents to form a panel, to share their knowledge of the needs of children under the age of eight, their parents and carers. They have made the funding decisions, so local organisations can help meet those needs.
Earlier in the year the panel awarded grants to four projects from Chums, Faces and Fun4YP and this second round of funding has resulted in a further six projects being funded. These include:
Access Bedford – a Family Signing Club to deliver face to face classes to families of deaf children, to help hearing families learn to sign with their children and meet other families in the deaf community.
Bedford & District Cerebral Palsy Society – a Music Therapist to work with families with pre-school children with additional needs.
Caudwell Children – Autism Sensory Packs for autistic children in the borough to help with hearing, vision and touch. The packs also contains items that support children’s cognitive skills and learning such as colour and shape.
Food etc – Dads’ Dinners, to provide cookery workshops for dads and their children to show them how to cook healthy and cheap dinners from scratch, as well as bond through cooking together.
Luma Community – music workshops exclusively for SEND children.
Samsons Academy Charity – self-defence sessions and boxing for children to improve confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
Bedford Giving Chair Kevin Bolt said:
“We’re really pleased so many organisations came forward to apply for grants for projects that will make a difference to the lives of young children in the borough.
“We’ve got a great combination of different projects to help a wide range of families to receive support. This has been helped by Bedford Giving using participatory grant making principles in the decision-making process, which is about devolving power to people in communities impacted.
“We asked parents who have live experience of some of the issues we’re tackling, to make the decisions to help create solutions to the challenges faced by families in the town.
“Through the process parents have shaped the grants based on their own experiences and those of their friends and families. We’ve learnt so much from them about for example, what it’s like to be the parent of a child with additional needs and what it is like navigating the system to get the support they need.”
The Parent Panel Grant Making Programme is one of a number of initial projects set up by Bedford Giving. Others launched so far include a volunteer mentoring programme for 13–15-year-olds to help them raise their career aspirations and a campaign to improve access to in-person work experience for young people who might otherwise miss out.
Find out more about Bedford Giving’s programmes.