£3,000 funding boost for Wicketz in Southampton
Our Wicketz programme has been awarded £3,000 of community funding from Abri for our cricket project in Southampton.
Our mission is to deliver high quality cricket programmes that will empower young people facing inequality to make positive choices, improve their health and wellbeing and achieve positive outcomes. We have been delivering our Wicketz programme in Southampton since 2018, engaging over 200 disadvantaged young people from many different ethnic backgrounds across the city.
The funding received from Abri, a large housing provider, with over 40,000 homes and assets, will allow us to grow our existing Southampton hubs at St Mary’s, Cantell and King Edward, with sessions now taking place five times a week across the three hubs. The funding will also allow us to provide a brand new user-led provision called ‘Youth Voice’, whereby participants at Wicketz are encouraged to feedback and reflect on what they want from the future cricket sessions and associated workshops to better assist them in their lives.
Dan Wilson, Wicketz Programme Manager said: “We’re very proud of our national Wicketz cricket programme. Through weekly cricket sessions and much more happening at our hubs, young people are developing crucial life skills, improving their prospects and gaining the skills they need to thrive and realise their potential. This work creates stronger communities; with 84% of all Wicketz participants in Southampton feeling more included in their local community, 90% feeling more optimistic about the future and 87% having a greater sense of independence than when they started the programme."
“Wicketz is offered at no cost to participants and is open to players of all abilities and from all backgrounds. In an area like Southampton where youth anti-social behaviour has increased and 20.1% of children under the age of 16 are believed to live in poverty, it is more important than ever for us to deliver as many sessions as we can, and to let participants have their say through the ‘Youth Voice’ programme, so participants keep engaging with the sessions, as they themselves have a say in the provisions we offer and workshops we set up for them.”
The community fund is part of Abri’s commitment to empowering lives and creating thriving communities, making them better places to live. Abri has awarded over £90,000 from its community fund to support local organisations and projects between April 2022-March 2023.
Applications are decided on a resident panel made up of customers and those living in its communities. Sarah O’Mara, an Abri customer and panel member, said: “I’m really excited that we have the opportunity to support this project as it continues to grow. Giving young people a voice to share their views and help shape future plans not only gives them confidence that they will be listened to, it can also help them become leaders as well. After school activities are so often a luxury, especially during a cost-of-living crisis, so I’m very pleased to know this programme seeks to support the most disadvantaged children in Southampton and offers a fun and wholesome activity at no financial cost at all. Overall, Wicketz represents a great chance for young people to get moving and improve physical health as well as mental health, they’re really hitting it for six!”