Published on 5th December 2011

Children in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania watch as the roof is lifted on a doll's house to reveal an attic cluttered with dolls' furniture

Grants are being made available to inspire young people in Cheltenham to get involved in twinning activities.

Cheltenham Twinning Association has a pot of funding worth £9,000 to inspire and support young people to take part in twinning activities with Cheltenham’s twin and friendship towns and is now inviting applications to this fund.

The Twinning Association is working together with Cheltenham Borough Council to enhance and promote opportunities for young people in the town. Grants are available from £500 up to a maximum of £1,500 for projects that will inspire Cheltenham young people to establish contacts with young people in our twin towns, to enjoy sporting opportunities, to improve language skills, or simply to enjoy positive international experiences that will broaden their knowledge of different cultures, furthering their current education and making them more employable in the future.  Bids are welcome from schools, sports clubs, church groups and any kind of group involving young people.

Councillor Garth Barnes, Chairman of the Twinning Association said: "We would like to encourage groups of young people from school year 6, up to 25 years of age, to take part in twinning activities that will make a positive difference to them and the communities they live in.  This is an excellent opportunity for local youth groups to become internationally involved in the London Olympic year of 2012 and make contacts with our well established twin and friendship towns.’’

Councillor Steve Jordan, leader of the council, supports the initiative, saying: “I welcome this proposal from the Twinning Association. It fits well with what the council is already doing to work with and encourage Cheltenham’s young people.”

The guidelines and criteria for applying for this funding can be seen at the Cheltenham Twinning Association website together with the expression of interest form.

The closing date for applications is Friday 13 January 2012. The Twinning Association Executive Committee will then encourage successful applicants to develop their bids in more detail before considering final applications at the end of March 2012.

This money was allocated by the council in 2009/10 from the Local Authority Business Growth Initiative (LABGI) to support twinning activities specifically relating to young people.

For further information contact Annette Wight, Twinning Officer, 01242 264311,