Christchurch Activities for Young People (CAYP) is a registered not-for-profit Community Interest Company. It provides a safe and welcoming environment for young people from Christchurch and the surrounding area where they can access affordable out of school activities which are designed to improve emotional wellbeing, social inclusion, a reduction in anti-social behaviour and enhanced life opportunities. It is run by a dedicated team of local volunteers and managed by a Board of Directors who wish to improve opportunities for local young people.
CAYP was set up as an independent Community Interest Company in 2011. We have been providing activities for the community since 2006 where we were part of a service provided by the Local Authority until this service was cut in 2011. At this point we consulted with the community and the feedback was that the activities were needed and the community wanted us to continue so the company was formed.
As a small organisation working with families on low income living in areas of high multiple deprivation we are completely reliant on grant funding and funding from donors to continue offering the services we do for the community. Over the years the activities we provide have increased according to what the community have asked for such as a drama club, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and Youth Mental Health support.
In 2015 Dorset County Council announced that it intended to cut its Youth Service budget by half and therefore was looking to pass on all the youth club buildings to external organisations.
The community turned to CAYP asking us if we could take on Somerford Youth Club. After much discussion and we set up and registered a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Christchurch Open Awards Centre (COAC), with a new Board of Trustees. The charity developed a business plan proposal for the youth club and submitted this to Dorset County Council. The proposal was approved in May 2016 and the charity took over the ownership of the centre. CAYP now work in partnership with COAC to ensure there is a wide range of services offered to young people and the community at Somerford Youth and Community Centre. CAYP continue to provide the school holiday activities and services to the community.
All our volunteers are police checked and are required to undergo a variety of training development such as First Aid, Safeguarding and Child protection, Youth Work training, Food Safety and Hygiene as well as more specific courses relating to the needs and working with young people.
Read more about CAYP on our advice & support page here