Krobo has received a £9,716 award to establish a regular go-karting club for disadvantaged teenagers and young adults from across the borough. The experience will be a first for most of the young people, many of whom are based in deprived areas that lack recreational opportunities. Starting this month, around 24 young people will meet twice weekly and learn teamwork, leadership and driving skills.
Lillian Bonsu, Secretary, said: “These young people desperately need something to do because they just haven’t been given the chance to have fun and broaden their horizons before now. Many of them have ended up being around too late at night, causing trouble and disturbing neighbours, but they are not bad kids, just bored kids with too few opportunities.
“They will get the chance to drive karts at Revolution Karting in Mile End and to experience working as a team and encouraging and sharing with each other. It will help them with temperament, confidence and seeing that it’s fun to put in the effort and to be rewarded for it. In this sort of scheme we usually find that some emerge as leaders and begin to take responsibility as part of a group. I’ve worked with adolescents and young adults my whole life and I know that often they just need a chance to be a part of something to contribute.”
Also netting an award, Newham Youth Link receives £9,985 to develop its youth football side. The Forest Gate-based club features 40 members between the ages of 14 and 18 and has a track history of sporting success, with several players receiving trials with Crystal Palace FC.
Jakir Ahmed, Chairman, said: “Many of the kids in the club come from difficult and disadvantaged backgrounds, but as a group we believe that prevention is better than cure, that we can prevent them from drifting into the wrong circles by involving them in something constructive and rewarding. Apart from teaching football skills we also have professional teachers who volunteer and help our players with their education. Over the years we have seen the territorial discord between kids drop away as they put differences aside and learn to play as a team, and some of our former players have gone on to play semi-professionally and still come back to help out.”
Other projects receiving awards are London Ethnic Minority Deaf Association, who get £9,950 to organise a season of workshops for the ethnic deaf community, Girassol Diaspora, awarded £5,467 to provide a weekly crafts club, Bonny Downs Community Association, using £8,450 to stage activities for children over the summer, and Latin Smile UK, who get £4,975 to raise awareness of the risks of tobacco and alcohol.
Nebee Development Trust are set to spend £8,990 on workshops for social entrepreneurs representing the African community, Rebecca Cheetham Nursery Education Centre are granted £2,902 to offer swimming lessons for under-fives, Sylhet Divisional Welfare Council UK are given £9,700 to help underachieving Bangladeshi children, and Falcontone Community Trust Limited will use £9,656 to develop its volunteers.
Awards for All is the small grants scheme administered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of Lottery good cause funders, Arts Council England, Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sport England. The scheme makes awards of between £300 and £10,000 to grass-roots community groups and voluntary organisations.
Debbie Pippard, Big Lottery Fund Head of the London region, said on behalf of Awards for All: “It’s wonderful to see young people get a second chance to experience excitement and fun and in so doing to learn about teamwork and social responsibility. I’m delighted that Krobo will work with Newham’s young people to give them that opportunity as one of 88 groups awarded Lottery funding in London this month.”