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YOU DECIDE: Young people award £10K to good causes

Friday 27th November 2020

YOUNG people have been given the opportunity to award more than £10,000 to half a dozen projects aimed at local youngsters.
County councillors Gary Cooke and Paul Cooper, organised and sponsored the You Decide event on November 14.
The financial awards came from the councillors' discretionary grants.
Cllr Cooke said: “It was wonderful to see young people really engage and have a say over funding for projects that directly concerned them.  
"As a councillor I have been pleased to sponsor regular You Decide events where residents from my division vote on projects they want me to support, but this was the first Youth Decides event in Kent and our young people from Maidstone responded brilliantly, hopefully there will be more to follow”.
Cllr Cooper added: “I was delighted by the success of this event and hope that this is only the first of events like this that engage and involve our young people”.    
The meeting was held virtually and took the form of a “Dragons Den” whereby the supporters of the respective projects were invited to make a short presentation to the panel of young people which was followed by a question and answer session for each project.  
After the panel's deliberations, they decided to award: 
Switch Cafe (£2,000); Project Salus (£2,700); Maidstone Mind (£3,500) and Infozone (£2,000)
Peter Heckel of Project Salus said: “It’s really refreshing that Kent county Council is listening to young people and how maturely and seriously the young people took the process”.