National Lottery grants £10,000 to The Yard Project at St Edmundsbury Cathedral

The project will support mental health for young people in the area.

Edmundsbury Cathedral
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The National Lottery has awarded a £10,000 ($12,700) grant to The Yard Project at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

This is a community project that supports young people by providing a space where they can hang out and learn new skills, such as scrap woodworking, eco crafts and firepit cooking.

The project was first started on 15 April 2023 by Mark Pendlington, Suffolk’s High Sheriff and the Senior Non-Executive Member of St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s Chapter.

The Yard was a previously overgrown area of the church grounds, which has since been redesigned to host the initiative.

Jane Dow, The Yard Project Lead, said: “Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to support more young people to increase their well-being after the challenges of lockdown.

“There is very strong evidence that outdoor projects like The Yard can be tremendously helpful in helping young people to restore mental health and build community.”

According to a survey completed at the church, ‘80% of young people’s mood and wellbeing increased after their visit and 20% showed no change but started with a ‘really good’ or ‘fantastic’ mood to begin with.’

On opening the project, Joe Hawes, Reverend of Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, said: “I am proud to celebrate the excellent work the Yard Project has been doing since it was launched last year, and in particular, the gently welcoming, reassuring, and sensitive presence of Jane Dow, the project worker.

“As the Project has begun to welcome young people to a space that is genuinely inclusive, healing and safe, we begin to see outcomes for them which include a marked improvement in mental health, growing confidence and engagement with good role models.

“At a time of real challenge to our young people, The Yard stands for something hopeful, life-giving and inclusive. I am proud that St Edmundsbury Cathedral is committed to it.”

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