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Social enterprise grant funding helps Torbay students rediscover joy of learning

Community interest company, Maker Arts, have expanded their services and supported more young people across Torbay thanks to £5,000 in social enterprise grant funding.

Based in Paignton, Maker Arts offer a creative approach to learning that benefits young people in Torbay who are struggling to engage in mainstream education.

Working with small groups of students aged 11 to 18, Maker Arts offer courses in mindfulness, employability, art and science which are designed to develop confidence, facilitate well-being, foster aspirations and, ultimately, encourage students back into the classroom.  

The organisation was awarded the funding last year from the Torbay Social Enterprise Grant; a scheme set up to support the development of the social enterprise sector and strengthen the local economy through Community Wealth Building, which is jointly owned and championed by Torbay Council, South Devon College, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and TDA.

The funding has allowed Maker Arts to refurbish their local premises and to purchase new equipment and resources to diversify their offering to young people. The grant was also used to employ a new member of staff; helping them to build their capacity.   

Thanks to the funding, Maker Arts have been able to expand their reach and support even more young people. They are now working with a local secondary school and are looking forward to working with more institutions across Torbay.   

Director of Maker Arts, Sue Parsons, said: ‘‘The Torbay Social Enterprise Grant Funding has been central in developing our premises and services at Maker Arts CIC. Thanks to the funding, we have been able to continue to support young people to grow in confidence and raise their aspirations.’’

Councillor Chris Lewis, Cabinet Member for Place Services and Economic Growth for Torbay Council said: ‘‘Social enterprises play a significant role in our local economy, offering a wide range of services which help local people and communities to thrive. One of the things which differentiates social enterprises from many charities is that they are businesses and will offer services or products for payment as well as for free to those in need.

‘‘When they are getting started, or want to launch a new project, social enterprises often need grant funding to get things underway. Torbay Council is proud to offer this support via the Torbay Social Enterprise Grants scheme. These grants have helped many fantastic organisations like Maker Arts CIC to expand their services and we are delighted that they have helped even more young people to rediscover the joy of learning.’’

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