The Community Upgrade Challenge is an initiative which ran from 2012-2016 to foster community and environmental improvement projects across the West Midlands and the North East of England. Funded by Suez Communities Trust, the Foyer Federation has coached over 40 teams of young people to create and deliver real transformation in their area. The brief was to create or physically improve community leisure or recreation sites.

We often encounter young people with a magnetic passion for improving their area and making a difference locally. The Community Upgrade Challenge is a superb opportunity for us to do just that and we are especially thankful to Suez Communities Trust for offering the means to support such ventures. The Community Upgrade Challenge offers the chance to tap into young people’s community spirit and harness their creativity through a process of support, coaching and funding too.

This has been a fantastic opportunity for young people to team up and volunteer to create and deliver a community upgrade project of their own design. Each successful application was able to receive funding of up to £25,000.

Examples of what a Community Upgrade Challenge projects:

•Improving a community building for the groups who use it
Replacing or upgrading equipment (as part of a wider improvement project)
•Improving access to a public leisure or recreation amenity to enable users to utilise the facility
•Restoration or improvements of a public park
•Creation of a community or public green space such as a garden
•Refurbishing a club house
•Creating or upgrading a play area
•Creation and installation of sculptures, interpretation panels, benches, bat & bird boxes
•Vegetation clearance (as part of a larger project)

North East region includes:

Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland.

West Midlands region includes:

Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley.