The Dreamscheme project, which is run by Cumbria Youth Alliance is bringing together the local community and having a positive impact on the lives of young volunteers in Cumbria.
Teenagers from the ‘Teacake’ community group based in Ewanrigg, Maryport, have organised a successful social event at Ewanrigg Community Centre, providing food and entertainment for elderly residents. The group has been sponsored by local businesses, including Herron Foods, The Lilly Basket, Cosmic and Bri-Marg Fruit Shop, as well as a number of generous local residents who have donated to the project.
Dreamscheme works with a number of Youth Groups in Cumbria, to carry out community volunteering projects and social action schemes. Participants pitch their ideas to local businesses in the hope of securing a small grant to pay for the start up materials needed to carry out their planned activities. Volunteers learn how to create business plans and budgets for their project, skills which will greatly improve their employability in the future. The scheme also offers participants the chance to earn points for their volunteering, which can later be traded in for rewards, such as a trip to the cinema.
So far, eleven different community groups have signed up. The Sir Edmund Hilary group, which matches a disabled young person, with a non-disabled young person from South Workington Youth Partnership, have organised a Masked Ball for young disabled people. They are planning to deliver community Fun Days to young people affected by the floods, among a number of other ideas the group has for community improvement. Elsewhere, young people from the Salterbeck estate in Workington have been helping to run Salterbeck FC at The Oval Centre, coaching football sessions for the younger players.
The Dreamscheme project has been funded for one year, by Allerdale Borough Council. Councillor Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, said:
“Allerdale Borough Council has a long association with the Dream Scheme. This model is an excellent youth engagement initiative which taps in to the entrepreneurial spirit of West Cumbria’s young people. They learn as they go through the process, get involved in some great community activities. It also encourages business growth, hopefully inspiring the next generation of business owners.”