Kent Mining Heritage Foundation celebrates £100,000 grant from Port of Dover Community Fund

DOVER, 25 JUNE 2018: Following on from the news that it had hit £1 million worth of fundraising for the Betteshanger Project and historian David Starkey had become its first patron, the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation (KMHF) can announce further exciting news of a grant of £100,000 from The Port of Dover Community Fund.

The Port of Dover Community Fund was established to support projects that make a real difference to those living and working in the Dover district.

Betteshanger Pathways, the successful project submitted by the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation, has been developed to provide a wide range of opportunities for young people from the Dover area who are currently not in education, employment or training (NEET). It will help young people to explore their natural abilities and interests in a way that develops tangible skills leading to future employment opportunities.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Deputy Group Principal and CEO Hadlow Group and chair Kent Mining Heritage Foundation commented on the programme: “From the outset, the Betteshanger Project has aspired to create a new economic identity for East Kent and our new ‘Betteshanger Pathways’ programme will directly support the social regeneration of the district. It will give much needed practical skills to a group of young people who are not currently engaging in education or employment. It will make a real difference not only to their lives but the community as a whole. We are thrilled to be in the receipt of the grant from the Port of Dover Community Fund and we are eager to begin embedding our programme.”

Betteshanger Pathways will engage 150 young people over the four year lifespan of the project. The 250-acre outdoor environment and new Visitor Centre at Betteshanger Park will provide the resources to deliver an education in a unique setting. The programme will include Estate Management, such as horticulture, tool handling, maintenance and environment protection, as well as the opportunity to work with the Activity Team on mountain biking, archery, geocaching, orienteering, shelter building, fossil hunting, and military fitness.

The activities are designed to aid skills around teamwork, problem solving, developing a positive attitude towards work, motivation, English language skills, numeracy and computer literacy.

The youngsters will be referred by local secondary schools, Kent County Council’s Early Help & Preventative Services, CXK and Jobcentre Plus, who will also be providing support.

The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover and Chair, Port of Dover Community Fund Advisory Panel, commented: “I am delighted that the Port of Dover Community Trust is able to support the extraordinary work being taken forward by the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation at Betteshanger Park. Helping young people to find purpose for their lives thus contributing to the wider community, is in my judgement, one of the most critical issues facing our society today.”

Delivery of the Betteshanger Pathway programme will begin in September 2018.

ENDS

For further media information on the Kent Mining Museum please contact Lynnette Crisp at Lynnette.Crisp@betteshangerparks.co.uk or call 01304 619227.

Notes to editors:

 The House of Commons Briefing Paper: “NEET: Young people not in education, training and employment” (2017) shows that not being in education, employment or training (NEET) between the ages of 16 and 18 is a major predictor of later unemployment, lower job security and lower rates of pay. There is also greater likelihood of teenage parenthood, depression and poor physical and mental health; persistent youth offending resulting in custodial sentences; insecure housing and homelessness; use of illicit drugs and transition to the use of class A drugs; poor relationships and early death. 34% of NEET young people have a learning difficulty. There are currently 725 NEET young people within the Dover district (Kent County Council: NEET Strategy)