A Farnborough business collective is to help fund 17 projects which help raise the aspirations and progression opportunities of local young people.

The Community Matters Partnership Project (CMPP) has announced the beneficiaries of its Youth Aspiration Fund for 2016/17.

Last year one of the projects the Youth Aspiration Fund assisted helped Parkside to get its Fab Cafe underway, which offers 16 young people with disabilities the opportunity of work experience and used the money to purchase a new till.

A total of 25 not-for-profit organisations and projects were selected by the partnership panel and awarded funding to support their work.

In total, CMPP has granted £37,829 to local charities, schools and special projects - an 87% increase on last year.

Christine Eustace, project manager for CMPP, said: “Throughout the year, CMPP Partners and Associates host and organise a variety of fundraising events to raise money for the Youth Aspiration Fund.

“This year colleagues from across CMPP took part in a variety of activities including sky dives, sponsored runs and challenges, a walk over the O2, dress down days, competitions and raffles.”

She added: “All the money raised goes towards supporting some of the most diverse and worthwhile projects in the area.”

'Give & Get'

Alongside the financial assistance, the partnership also encouraged grant applicants to ask for volunteer support to support their projects goals. CMPP has access to more than 22,000 local employees who are all encouraged by their employers to take between one and three days a year to volunteer for a good cause.

CMPP plan to take full advantage of this strategy and have introduced a brand new initiative ‘Give & Get Days’.

Andrew Lloyd, chairman of CMPP, said: “This funding, all of which has been raised by socially responsible local businesses, will support the development of thousands of young people to help them reach their potential, to aid in the development of their skills and to enable them to explore their future possibilities.”

Elan Goldsmith, CMPP events co-ordinator, is organising the partnership’s upcoming Celebrations Event, hosted by The Aviator Hotel, and said: “This will be a fantastic opportunity to hear from the nine local organisations who benefitted from our first round of Youth Aspirations Fund grants in December 2015.

“Hearing how the money has been spent and the impact the projects have had will, I’m sure, make all the hard work of the partners worthwhile.”

To find out more about previous grant winners, visit www.cmpp.org.uk.