The Youth Investment Fund will transform outdoor activities for young people across South Yorkshire and beyond.
Whiteley Woods Outdoor Activity Centre (OAC) is a small charity that struggled to attract funding to renovate and grow its offer to young people. It delivers activity-based residential opportunities to children and young people in partnership with Girlguiding and Scouting groups, as well as schools and other youth groups.
The Youth Investment Fund will enable the refurbishment of an unused derelict 300-year-old Grade II listed cottage and cover the costs of upgrading their existing facilities, transforming the service to a safe residential space for young people to enjoy. The refurbishment is a priority so the buildings remain safe and fully usable to ensure young people can continue to enjoy the great outdoors and exciting activities on offer, including camping, kayaking, climbing and high-ropes, archery, coracle building, fencing and team building.
The grant will make a huge difference by securing the future of the centre and by providing additional accommodation options for children and young people. Young people have been part of the development process, sharing their ideas for the design of the cottage refurbishment, including incorporating environmentally friendly heating solutions; a more ‘homely’ feel to the shared living spaces and retaining the original features and heritage of the cottage.
The Youth Investment Fund grant means work can start on site in January 2023 and aims to complete by September 2024. Once complete, Whiteley Woods OAC will be able to support around 244 young people a week.
It is hoped that as well as offering great new facilities for young people, the project will also generate more volunteering opportunities and a new member of staff.
We are thrilled to have been successful in obtaining this Youth Investment Fund grant. The refurbished buildings will give us a secure future and ensure that we can offer awesome activities for even more children and young people from Sheffield and beyond for many years to come.
Whiteley Woods OAC trustees