Programme encouraging volunteers to improve green spaces funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Through UK Shared Prosperity Funding, Newark and Sherwood District Council have been able to support partners YMCA Newark and Sherwood in the delivery of an adventure guides programme to support the local community whilst protecting wildlife and building a sense of pride in place.


Over recent months, the YMCA has delivered several workshops and community days to enable volunteers of all ages to improve local green spaces in Bilsthorpe, Ollerton and Clipstone. The adventure guides programme encourages local people to come together to enhance the natural environment whilst learning new skills.

One of the groups supported is Bilsthorpe 1st Scouts, who have been working hard over recent weeks to create 24 bird boxes, nine bug hotels and 12 squirrel feeders for the local area.

The programme was able to go ahead with the support of funding received from Newark and Sherwood District Council as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Matt Lamb, Director of Planning and Growth at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It is extremely exciting that we are starting to see some of the projects and programmes identified as being eligible for UK Shared Prosperity Funding beginning to be delivered and enjoyed by our local communities.

“The workshops and community days the YMCA have organised for our local communities will provide an opportunity for those who take part to gain new life skills but also help preserve our wildlife and their natural habitats as well as foster a sense of pride in place.

“We look forward to seeing similar great news from other successful funding recipients in the coming weeks, months and years.”

Todd Cauthorn, Executive Director at YMCA Newark & Sherwood, said: “We are delighted that the project has been adopted whole-heartedly by communities. It has been great to see children, adults, local scout groups and schools come together to help improve their green spaces and see the impact that has been made through community days and evening activities.

“Everything we do at the YMCA is designed to support the development of young people and the wider community. The YMCA Village in Newark brings many more opportunities for sport, creativity, physical and mental wellbeing and recreation – with activities designed to appeal to all ages and abilities.  Support and funding allow us to continue giving all young people a fair chance to discover who they are and what they can become.”

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is providing £2.6 billion of new funding that local authorities were able to bid for and invest in their districts and boroughs by March 2025.

In December 2022, it was announced the District Council had successfully secured £3.28m to allocate to eligible local organisations. More information can be found on the Newark and Sherwood District Council website: