5 Oct 2020  |  Jon Rist

Woo! We’ve been successful in securing a £90,000 Covid relief funding grant from the National Lottery!

The funding from the National Lottery Coronavirus Community Support Fund (government allocated money) will help ESTEEM continue to deliver an essential service to young people throughout the Worthing and Adur community, during these ever changing times of the Covid 19 crisis. 

Since lockdown began, ESTEEM’s Safeguarding Team received 70 Safeguarding forms from staff, highlighting the strain on both young people and the staff team. As the pandemic took hold in late-March 2020, ESTEEM quickly transformed support services and vocational opportunities, from face-to-face activities to remotely accessible online interactions, without missing a beat. The Lottery funding will help ensure that the amazing work created with young people over these last four months can continue and expand and ensure post-Covid 19 future sustainability.


As ESTEEM gradually reopened offices, the kitchen and counselling rooms, over the last few months, the charity found more specialist skills from new staff roles were needed to create new parallel working structures – one virtual, one in situ. The new staff roles are a Marketing and Communications Manager (full-time), Youth IT Assistant (part-time), an HR officer (part-time) and a Fundraising Officer (part-time). The funding will help ensure all staff have the time, resources and systems to run safe, effective online activities and services.


The ESTEEM building/offices themselves will also see more improvements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – ensuring in-person services and opportunities meet requirements and government and National Youth Agency guidelines. Currently, staff and volunteers are using personal computers, which goes against ESTEEM’s safe working practices and GDPR – the funding will allow an upgrade of our IT equipment and systems, and will provide better facilities for over 200 young people, staff, mentors and the organisation as a whole. Connor is 19 years old and volunteers with ESTEEM as a Social Media Assistant and has been active in driving this funding push and worked on the application: “Since joining ESTEEM as a volunteer, I’ve had the opportunity to gain real IT experience, a field of work I’m attempting to get into. However, with the limitations of ESTEEM’s technical infrastructure, which is lacking important technologies, my learning is starting to slow. I would appreciate more opportunities for myself and others to gain experience, and progress into relevant jobs/apprenticeships further down the line. With the current state of the job market since the COVID-19 lockdown, this is of vital importance to me”.


The ESTEEM building works in partnership with local arts charity Company Paradiso and charity network Fairshare, using our kitchen to store and deliver food. 28% of young people told us they did not have access to enough food during lockdown. As restrictions lift, the kitchen will once again be used to cook meals for groups of 20-30 young people. The number of meals prepared and delivered through ESTEEM’s adult volunteers from the local community will increase. Volunteers have told us they are keen to get involved after seeing ESTEEM’s cookery videos and social media updates. Our current kitchen is simply unfit for purpose, being over forty years old and not built for commercial use. With increased levels of hygiene required to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ESTEEM’s kitchen needs new equipment and storage, which the funding will help with to ensure the safe return to the building for everyone, with clean and hygienic storage, food preparation areas and handwashing facilities.


ESTEEM’s CO Cat Vizor says of the funding – “We are hugely grateful to have received this funding to help us navigate through the Covid 19 pandemic. This enables ESTEEM to work flexibly in reacting to the rapidly changing needs of young people”.


If you would like to be involved with ESTEEM please get in touch via hello@esteem.org.uk or telephone us on 07490447333


ESTEEM are currently recruiting (see our website jobs board) for paid roles and Trustees.

– Do you know of an available space in Worthing or Adur? ESTEEM are outgrowing The Old School House building and so currently looking for a second venue to run from. 


Contact cat.vizor@esteem.org.uk (CO)

Tel: 01273 091511 or 07490447333