London Gatwick helps fund Easter break for young people in Leatherhead

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Young people in Leatherhead enjoyed a trip to Walton Firs Activity Centre in Cobham with Leatherhead Youth Project, thanks to £3,000 of funding from the London Gatwick Foundation Fund.

Young people in Leatherhead enjoyed a trip to Walton Firs Activity Centre in Cobham with Leatherhead Youth Project, thanks to £3,000 of funding from the London Gatwick Foundation Fund.

The annual trip called Freestyle costs £7,500 to stage and for many who attend, it will be their only trip away all year.

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Leatherhead Youth Project took 24 young people, aged 11 to 17, on the three-day action-packed break during the Easter holidays where they enjoyed activities such as rock climbing, archery and caving.

Leatherhead Youth ProjectLeatherhead Youth Project
Leatherhead Youth Project

Mikey Dicken, senior youth worker said: “We are so grateful to the London Gatwick Foundation Fund for this grant to run Freestyle, Leatherhead Youth Project’s annual residential trip.

“Freestyle is one of our most popular projects and is one the young people really look forward to. It is a chance to have a break from any difficulties they may be facing in their lives and truly be a kid again. Thank you for making this possible.”

Leatherhead Youth Project has been running for 19 years and during this time has provided many opportunities for young people to gain new experiences. This has included day trips to London and Brighton during the summer holidays, residential trips filled with activities, wilderness camping in hammocks, hiking in Wales and even taking young people on trips to Romania.

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The charity offers innovative youth services in Leatherhead, Bookham and across Mole Valley, responding to local needs, helping young people to be safe, happy and making positive changes in their lives.

Leatherhead Youth ProjectLeatherhead Youth Project
Leatherhead Youth Project

The trip to Walton Firs Activity Centre, which received great reviews from the young people who attended, also included a scavenger hunt, team games and challenges, as well as evening meals together, followed by talks focusing around identity, self-esteem and self-care.

Jude Crome, Leatherhead Youth Project’s CEO added: “Freestyle provides an excellent opportunity for local young people to gain new experiences and helps to improve their confidence, communication skills, resilience and perseverance.

“Going on a residential trip provides fantastic memories for the young people and is a chance for them to build positive relationships with their peers and with the youth workers too. Trips like this allow the youth workers to gain such a better understanding of the individual needs of each young person to help find ways to provide continued support for them.”

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Melanie Wrightson, stakeholder engagement manager at London Gatwick, said: “It gives us so much joy to give back to our local community through the London Gatwick Foundation Fund and we know the ongoing cost-of-living crisis continues to cause problems for grassroots community groups across Surrey.

“The London Gatwick Foundation Fund has supported hundreds of good causes over the years. We would like to urge local charities and community groups to apply for the next round of funding and allow us to help them too.”

Leatherhead Youth Project was just one of the groups to benefit from the latest funding from the first round of the London Gatwick Foundation Fund of 2024.

Each year there are three rounds of grants, totalling £100,000, which are made available to beneficiaries in Surrey across the area of benefit which covers Reigate and Banstead, Tandridge and Mole Valley.

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The London Gatwick Foundation Fund was set up in 2016 to award funding to local groups that work to fight social isolation and tackle disadvantage, raise aspirations and develop skills, improve health and wellbeing, and support children and young people.

The London Gatwick Foundation Fund is managed on behalf of London Gatwick in Surrey by the Community Foundation for Surrey.

The deadline to express an interest in funding in Surrey is 14 October.

To apply for funding from the Gatwick Foundation Fund in Surrey, please go to: https://www.cfsurrey.org.uk/

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