£10m cash bid for Wolverhampton children’s services

A funding bid which could lead to £10 million being invested in Wolverhampton’s children will be presented to lottery bosses later this month, it has been announced.

The city is applying for a share of £75m being dished out by national lottery bosses. It will target 10 to 14-year-olds through a variety of projects.

And youngsters in the city are helping to shape the bid, by giving their feedback in a series of workshops.

Wolverhampton City Council has already received £10,000 with which to put together an application for cash.

If successful, the city will receive £500,000 for new services and, if it can be proved that those services have an effect on youngsters, Wolverhampton could receive up to £10m over the next few years. The Big Lottery Fund HeadStart programme is designed to help youngsters cope with the pressures of modern life.

New services could include running special lessons in schools.

To help plan what services could be provided a workshop has been held involving representatives from the council, HeadStart, health and social care providers and local schools and organisations.

Youngsters gave a presentation of their hopes and fears for the future and shared personal stories of overcoming issues of self-harm, depression and isolation.

They then worked with professionals to develop models showing how the HeadStart service could look in Wolverhampton, tackling the stigma which surrounds mental health problems.

Children and families chief Councillor Val Gibson said the feedback would play a key role in the city’s bid.

She said: “Getting their thoughts and experiences is essential so that we can design the sort of services that will be able to help young people cope with the pressures of modern life. I now look forward to Wolverhampton formally presenting our bid later this month.”

Health boss Councillor Sandra Samuels added: “Addressing mental health issues, particularly among children and young people, is a priority for us and so this is a fantastic opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of people in Wolverhampton.