The National Express Foundation is urging organisations across the West Midlands to take advantage of an increased £500,000 of funding before it is too late!

The Foundation, now in its eighth year, has already helped over 17,600 local young people and committed a whopping £1,500,000 to local community projects and educational bursaries.

The organisation previously invited groups to bid for grants of £2,500 or £5,000. This year groups can also bid for larger amounts of £10,000 or £20,000 to support sustainable projects that provide positive and engaging activities for young people in deprived areas.

The support is currently directed at organisations in the former West Midlands county boundary, served by the National Express West Midlands buses.

Aston University used £30,000 of funding for a bursary scheme to support students experienced barriers in making their decision to go to university. They were awarded to those studying subject areas in which males and females are typically under-represented.

“The National Express Foundation bursary is a life-changing opportunity for students during their time at university” – Tayler Day, Aston University Student

Gospel Oak Community Centre in Birmingham used a foundation grant to support diversionary activities to prevent young people becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. Our £10,000 grant has supported 35 teenagers take part in weekly sessions. The funded scheme encourages participants to engage in enterprise and positive social action in their community via volunteering and work experience opportunities.

Dave Crathorne, Centre Manager for Gospel Oak Community Centre, said:“Receiving this grant from the National Express Foundation meant we were able to continue to support the young people in and around our community centre. We were able to offer each and every participant the life chances they would not have had access to without this funding.”

Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said: “We are extremely proud that over the last seven years, the National Express Foundation grants have helped over 17,600 young people to enjoy positive and engaging activities and helped them to gain qualifications and learn new skills. Last year we ran two funding rounds for the first time and were able to support 3,400 young people in 2018 alone. We are really pleased to run two application rounds again this year with our increased funding commitment of £500,000. We’re absolutely thrilled that this money will help even more local young people in the communities that we serve. I would urge all local educational institutions and community groups to submit an application for funding.”

Applications for funding to support local young people must be received by Thursday 18 April 2019. The guidance notes and application form can be found at www.nationalexpressgroup.com/foundation.