The grant will enable an important expansion of the Children & Young People Team that will build capacity in community hubs across the diocese. The grant will fund two new Community Hub Development Advisors, bringing more focus to the work within community hubs in local market towns.
The new roles will hold a specialism and will look at one area each - mental health and wellbeing; and engagement of children and young people. Both of these subjects will broaden the work the community hubs do with children and young people in their area. Having the advisors focussed on a specialism will allow all of the hubs to make the most of their knowledge and work.
The two new advisors will be working alongside experienced Senior Children & Young People’s Advisor, Lizzie Whitbread. She said: “This grant is a hugely exciting development for our work. It will significantly increase the capacity and expertise we are able to offer communities to engage with children and young people. These posts will enable young people in more places to be part of creating innovative change for themselves and their communities.”
Deputy Director, Mandy Christopher, added: “Community hub working is one of the most significant pieces of work that we have embarked on, with huge potential to change lives. These posts will enable community hub work to grow into its full potential, enabling creative and innovative work which changes children and young people’s lives at a local level. These posts will enable young people in more places to be part of creating change for themselves and their communities.”
Director of Mission and Ministry and Deputy Diocesan Secretary, Jonathan Triffitt, stated: “I am immensely grateful to Benefact Trust for awarding us this grant. The development of our network of community hubs goes to the heart of our missional response in serving and responding to the needs of our local communities. Community hubs enable the voices of children and young people to shape a vision for the future of their communities; working with schools, churches and households, this grant will enable us to increase our resources and to better support and enable children, young people and adults to work together in building the kingdom of God in their local context.”
Acting Bishop of Salisbury, The Rt Revd Karen Gorham, welcomes the award: “Community hubs, bringing together school, church and community in a response to social need, particularly of young people, is very much part of our diocesan vision to encourage partnership and the renewal of hope. I am delighted that following this grant we shall be able to develop that important work even more, making more of a difference where community hubs have been established and the possibility of creating even more.”
Paul Playford, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “After a challenging couple of years, mental health and wellbeing support is becoming increasingly important. We’re delighted that our grant can help to fund specialists, including advisors who understand young people’s mental health, to make a positive and transformative difference in communities across The Diocese of Salisbury. The Community Hub project is a fantastic blueprint for other dioceses wanting to build stronger, lasting connections with children and young people.”