Government awards £10m to boost youth aspirations – Lauren Higgs Children & Young People Now 4 August 2009

Young people in 15 deprived areas across the country are to benefit from £10m of government cash.

The money, which has been awarded to projects as part of the Inspiring Communities initiative, will fund activities designed to raise the aspirations of disadvantaged young people.

One project in Stoke-on-Trent will offer local young people free visits to university campuses and colleges. In Kent, participants will have the chance to visit local workplaces and take part in Dragon's Den-style activities.

Another scheme in Barking and Dagenham will get young people involved in a community gardening project, a youth radio station and a volunteer mentoring programme, while offering support and advice services to their families.

Local government minister Rosie Winterton said the cash would improve young people's confidence and improve access to opportunities.

She said: "We recognise that young people from poorer communities can be less likely to aim high and can have low self-esteem, low aspirations and limited horizons. This fund is about taking steps to redress that balance."

The 15 Inspiring Communities projects are based in Barking and Dagenham, Barnsley, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Bradford, Bristol, Cumbria, Kent, Lancashire, Manchester, Norfolk, North East Lincolnshire, Rotherham, South Tyneside and Stoke-on-Trent.