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Youth charity appeal is ‘an opportunity for businesses to have a lasting impact’, says trustee

INVEST IN A CHARITY that can help to develop the future workforce for employers, says the newest trustee of the charity Action4Youth.

Melanie Beck, chief executive of MyMiltonKeynes Business Improvement District, is also sitting on the charity’s appeal committee overseeing the campaign to raise £1.4 million to redevelop its Caldecotte Xperience.  

Businesses need to recognise the value of Action4Youth’s challenging education programmes, said Ms Beck pictured right who was to step down as BID chief executive in May month but is now to stay on part-time until her replacement is recruited.

“All business owners are very concerned about the incidence of antisocial behaviour, drugs, and knife carrying,” she said. “Business understand that we have a whole generation of youngsters that face a great degree of challenges because of the pandemic, climate change and the constraints on the public purse.”

The challenges, resilience and teamwork skills developed in young people of all backgrounds and through supported outdoor and adventure education at The Caldecotte Xperience is a key part of what Ms Beck sees as the value to businesses of Action4Youth’s work. 

She is urging employers to explore opportunities for them with Action4Youth. She believes the opportunities for investment, volunteering and sponsorship in the education programmes, capital project and in the youth of tomorrow provide something for every business, whatever its size to benefit.

“This is an opportunity for businesses to have lasting impact,” Ms Beck said. “Businesses want and need responsible, aware, committed employees. Through the programmes run by Action4Youth, hopefully we will get more rounded and more committed individuals coming into the workplace because they have had experiences that have challenged them and opportunities to get the support and mentoring which they have been lacking.” 

Melanie Beck pictured with Action4Youth representatives at The Knife Angel at Stadium MK, part of the sculpture’s nationwide tour highlighting knife crime.

The charity runs its Breakout educational programmes with school, which help young people to understand the risks and develop personal strength to withstand gang and knife culture. The Inspiration programme introduces wider opportunities and skills for their futures. Businesses can become involved by sponsoring programmes in schools local to them and by directly taking part to share their experiences and knowledge. 

At The Caldecotte Xperience, Ms Beck sees different opportunities for businesses to become involved in the challenging world of adventure education through sponsorship, corporate volunteering or donations to the redevelopment of the centre’s main building.

“The building badly needs investing in,” she said. “Visits will be so much better for everybody when it is redeveloped. It will have more uses and allow Action4Youth to spread their wings in terms of the target audience.”  


‘A fantastic opportunity to create an inspiring place’

CHARTERED surveyor David Apperley and structural engineer Dhiren Pankhania cast their expert eyes over the work to be done to upgrade, modernise and transform The Caldecotte Xperience, the activity centre run by youth charity Action4Youth as an appeal to raise £1.4 million for the work gathers pace.

Mr Apperley, chairman of property investment company Apperley Estates, is a new trustee at the charity. He is keen to play his part in creating new opportunity for young people across the region.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to breathe new life into a building, to really create an inspiring place,” he says. “There is so much that we can do to really improve the experience.” 

More than 12,000 young people aged between three and 24 take part in outdoor and adventure education at TCX every year. The redevelopment will mean many more will benefit in the future, enhancing residential stays and making indoor activities available to everyone. It will also enable Action4Youth to offer accessible, inclusive work opportunities.  

Find out more about the appeal and see an outline of the project at Building For A Better Future – Redevelopment of The Caldecotte Xperience – JustGiving 

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