Child poverty initiatives implemented by Renfrewshire Council have helped boost the incomes of struggling families in Renfrewshire. Alongside a range of initiatives listed in Renfrewshire’s 2019/2020 Local Child Poverty Action Report was reference to their participatory budgeting initiative, called "Celebrating Renfrewshire – by young people, for young people."
The process encourages young people (aged 12-25) to develop ideas for their community. It is 100% youth led and designed and delivered by young people from across Renfrewshire, with a share of around £150k being available to individual young people and youth organisations. 12 young people form the core steering group, renaming the fund ‘Celebrating Renfrewshire –by young people, for young people’ and decided the criteria for the fund.
When deciding their priorities and criteria the young people addressed their own issues and considered the priorities of each of the 7 Local Partnerships. The group also reworked the application form for the fund to ensure it was easy for young people to complete and removed information which they felt was not required.
Young people across Renfrewshire are being supported to vote via schools and community organisations. This project is delivered by the Partnerships & Inequalities team in partnership with Youth Services, Renfrewshire Youth Voice and Active Schools (Renfrewshire Leisure).
In the first round a total of 124 ideas were generated by 50 groups and organisations from across all 7 Local Partnerships, working directly with young people in Renfrewshire. The steering group assessed all applications to ensure they met the criteria for the fund. All 124 ideas were progressed to the voting stage of the process. In addition to this, the steering group with support from youth services engaged a wide range of community organisations working with ‘harder to reach’ young people to support the voting process.
A total of 3,402 young people from across Renfrewshire participated in the process and voted, which equated to a total of 10,206 choices being made on projects which they felt were needed within their own communities. 120 people attended the last announcement event and 31 groups were represented with information stalls. Steering group members announced the 40 successful groups who had been awarded funding. These included Renfrewshire Carers Centre, Young Enterprise Scotland and Renfrewshire Effort to Empower Minorities.
The fund is open again in 2020, with deadline for applications having being extended into September 2020, and voting due to close in late October.
Find at more at the Celebrating Renfrewshire webpage