WHO WE ARE
STAR is a small Somerset wide charity that raises funds to enable its most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people to participate in healthy and organised activities which many other Somerset children and young people take for granted.
Operating since 1999, the charity was started by a group of social workers who recognised the need for additional funding to support the positive work of the many professionals working with children and young people across the County (youth workers, teachers, social workers, youth offending teams, those working with mental health issues, including drugs and alcohol and the many volunteers who run ‘out of school clubs’). Since then, the charity has gone from strength to strength but our aims have remained the same "To provide opportunities through music, arts, sport and recreation to some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people from 0 to 21 years (25 if a care leaver)". While Somerset continues to have areas of deprivation, there will always be ‘children-in-need’, and always the need for STAR to raise additional funding to be able to respond quickly and positively.
We fund children and young people to take part in music, sport, art and recreational activities. Through these activities we aim to:
- Provide young people with stability
- Improve independence and build confidence
- Improve feelings of self worth and physical and mental health well being
- Improve educational outcome and social skills
- Provide and fund activities that broaden young people’s horizons
- Connect young people with their local communities.
RESPONDING TO SOMERSET’S INDECIS OF DEPREVATION
Many people think of Somerset as being a rural county of wealth. However, the indices of deprivation show a different story; Taunton has 3 estates within the top 10% indices of deprivation, there are a further 3 in Bridgwater, 1 in Yeovil, 1 in Highbridge and 1 in Glastonbury.
The IDAC (Indices of Deprivation Affecting Children) for Somerset, indicates income deprivation aects children more than older people (source: Somerset Intelligence) with many Somerset children and young people unable to access activities, either within or outside their local communities. Much of Somerset employment is based around hospitality and retail - the two industries most affected by COVID-19. This indicates that many more Somerset children and young people will have been pushed into poverty, resulting in increased mental health issues, low educational attainment and for many, having only the streets as their playgrounds.