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£185,000 to fund youth voice project for Herts libraries



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Hertfordshire County Council's library service has secured £185,000 in funding for a two-year scheme targeting young people.

The project is part of the Volunteering Futures programme distributed by Arts Council England.

The money will be used to fund My Voice, a county-wide project aimed at increasing and improving volunteering opportunities for 16- to 24-year-olds within, and on behalf of, the library service.

Bishop's Stortford Library in The Causeway opens at 10am seven days a week and closes at 7pm on Mondays, 6pm Tuesdays to Fridays, 5pm Saturdays and 4pm Sundays. Picture: Vikki Lince
Bishop's Stortford Library in The Causeway opens at 10am seven days a week and closes at 7pm on Mondays, 6pm Tuesdays to Fridays, 5pm Saturdays and 4pm Sundays. Picture: Vikki Lince

A Youth Voice board of young people will be created, where members' views and input will play a key role in shaping the future of the county's libraries and the services they provide.

In partnership with DS Achieve, Herts Sports Partnership and the Ollie Foundation, the project will target key areas for local young people, such as career development, mental health and community engagement for marginalised groups.

Taryn Pearson-Rose, HCC's director of customer engagement and libraries, said: "My Voice is an exciting and ambitious programme that will transform library volunteering for young people by ensuring their voice contributes to shaping our future library service and its cultural offer.

"While our libraries already provide many valuable services to young people across Hertfordshire, it will be really exciting to see how these develop and improve under the guidance of the very people they have been created to support.

"It is also fantastic to be working alongside such valued local partners. Their expert insight will play a huge role in helping to eliminate current barriers and provide more opportunity for all young people in Hertfordshire to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, as well as supporting recovery where needed in the wake of Covid-19."



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