The BIG Project in Broomhouse is approaching its 10th Birthday, which will be celebrated on September 1st 2012, and its work with young people in Broomhouse is still hitting the mark. With an eye to the future it has just secured two awards from Corra Foundation. Alongside £5,000 to help pay for the salary of the Project Manager, the BIG Project is also being given capacity building support through the Foundation’s partnership with Pilotlight.
Francis Farmer, Chairperson, said: “It is ten years since The BIG project was set up to do something about a lack of facilities for young people and the impact this was having on levels of youth crime in the area. The children and young people we work with often have pretty challenging home lives, and of course there is a direct link between poor attendance at school and the high levels of unemployment in the local community. We want to give local youngsters the best possible opportunities. They make up a big portion of the local community, with almost a quarter of the population being under 15 years old. Providing them with positive things to do clearly makes a difference to their lives, but it also has a knock on effect to the whole community and that is fantastic to see.”
Children and young people aged 5-18 years have access to a whole range of activities at the new primary school campus at the heart of Broomhouse, and the emphasis is always on learning, achieving having fun and feeling good about themselves. With sports, music and arts activities on offer there is something for everyone. The BIG Project Youth Choir has just been selected to represent Edinburgh on Wednesday, June 13th at Edinburgh Castle as part of the Olympic Torch Relay and will be performing alongside Emeli Sandé and The Karine Polwart Band. A mix of group tuition and one to one support is available and more intensive work is done through residential provision, all of which engender a great sense of stability and continuity for local children and young people, many of whom experience social exclusion and discrimination at a variety of levels.
Mary Craig OBE, Chief Executive of Corra Foundation, said: “When children grow up in families and communities where there is little expectation they will get a job it can be an uphill struggle for them to aspire to a better future for themselves. The BIG Project does excellent work in an area where many people suffer from poor health and the effects of poverty, and the fact that over 150 young people use their services every week speaks volumes as we all know young people are very good at voting with their feet. Covering basic costs is a constant challenge for local charities, and many of our awards go to help pay for salaries and we are delighted to have been able to help BIG pay for their project manager to help them continue delivering this important work.”
This is the group’s fourth award from the Foundation bringing the total support to £50,500 since 2005, and this has all been used to help pay for salaries.