A group that aims to celebrate diversity is stepping back in time thanks to a £5,000 bounty.
The Cheesy Waffles Youth Project, based in Belmont, was awarded the money from the Youth Social Action Fund, through County Durham Community Foundation.
The money will be used for a project about local history, which will aim to bring young and old together.
CWYP project manager Erika Denholm said: “All these things our young people want to do – can’t be done without money. This grant has opened up a lot of opportunities.”
Carville and Belmont Residents’ Association and Belmont Working Men’s Club will join forces with the Waffles to explore local heritage and revisit recipes from World War I and World War II.
Erika explained: “The project will launch in the October half term with visits to Beamish Open Air Museum, near Stanley, and Heugh Battery Museum, in Hartlepool.
“We’ll start there and then let the young people decide how they want that to develop.
“We think it’s important that they know about their local history, where they come from and why things are the way they are.”
But the project is much more than a trip down memory lane.
Erika said: “Our aim is always to promote disability in a positive way and to give young people the opportunity to do and learn things without needing mum and dad there. A lot don’t have that opportunity otherwise. They have support with us but they can also build their independence.
“We want to show everyone what our young people can do, rather than focusing on what they can’t. “Many people are still negative towards disability, or afraid. If they don’t come across disability in their lives then they get a surprise when they see what our young people are capable of. “When we do a musical, or we run a tea room project, I’m not sure what people assume, but they don’t expect such talent on stage and that the young people will have made everything from start to finish. “The project will focus on making links with other groups and building friendships and getting young people to learn important skills.”
County Durham Community Foundation is now appealing for more groups to apply to the Youth Social Action Fund, which is open for applications until December 16.
Sally Vivyan, Donor Services Manager said: “We are really keen to get the word out there that there is money available for all kinds of wonderful projects.
“Cheesy Waffles are doing terrific things with their grant and we want to enable lots of other groups, particularly those led by young people, to apply and get this money out there in order to make our communities better and brighter. “
Erika also urged other groups to apply: “I would say if you have a good idea, and you have the young people on board then you just need to go for it.
“The paperwork is not difficult.”
The Youth Social Action fund is aimed at creating enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people aged from 10 to 20-years-old.
With money from the Big Lottery Fund and the Office for Civil Society, the fund is delivering pots of between £1,000 and £5,000 to community groups in County Durham, Darlington and Tees Valley.