Bedford Giving: Parents of under 5s needed to have their say

Parent panel invitation Image: Bedford Giving
Image: Bedford Giving

Bedford Giving is looking for parents or carers of children aged 5 or under, to make decisions about how £80,000 of grants budget is spent on supporting young people and their families in the borough.

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Image: Malchev/Shutterstock

The movement, which has been set up to create a brighter future for the next generation, is setting up a second Parent Panel following the success of the first one last year.

It’s looking for eight local parents/carers to come together to decide the issues affecting children and young people in their communities which they think are the most important to change. Parents will be reimbursed for their time.

Bedford Giving director, Paul Kellett, said: “We’re looking for people who live the issues that need addressing, so they can suggest the changes that need to happen. Your voice and experience can make a real difference.

“We need you to share your life experiences and make grants to charities and community groups which are working locally to help start that change.

“Our last parent panel told us that by getting involved they learned new skills, boosted their confidence, met new people and made some changes in their own life along the way.”

Last year the Parent Panel awarded grants to:

  • Access Bedford – for a Family Signing Club
  • Bedford & District Cerebral Palsy Society – for a Music Therapist
  • Caudwell Children – for Autism Sensory Packs
  • Food etc – Dads’ Dinners, to provide cookery workshops for dads and their children
  • Luma Community – music workshops exclusively for SEND children
  • Samsons Academy Charity – self-defence sessions and boxing for children
  • Chums – to develop a new digital app to help support children and their families’ mental health and wellbeing
  • Faces – support for families with children with SEND and a parenting support programme aimed specifically at fathers
  • Fun4YP – to provide activities after school and in the holidays for children with SEND and to offer support groups and workshops for parents

The Parent Panel Grant Making Programme is one of a number of transformational projects being launched by Bedford Giving to improve the lives of young people.

Others include a volunteer mentoring programme for 13–15-year-olds to help them raise their career aspirations, and a work experience campaign to sign up businesses and organisations to offer work experience for young people who might otherwise miss out.

This month Bedford Giving is kick-starting research into the mental health needs of young people in the borough and the availability of free and low cost activities for teenagers.

To get involved in this year’s Parent Panel visit

Bedford Giving is hosted by The Harpur Trust, meaning all funds provided go directly towards helping young people, not running costs.

Other founding partners are bpha, Lousada PLC, The Connolly Foundation, The Gale Family Charitable Trust, The Panacea Charitable Trust, St John’s Hospital Trust and The Worshipful Company of Founders.

Bedford Giving is the charity partner of the Bedford Independent