Urgent bid for youth funds

Jordan Dixon, who raised �300 for the Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project
Jordan Dixon, who raised �300 for the Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project

A youth service may face closure within the next few months if funds are not found.

Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project currently supports around 50 people a week at its club and drop-in sessions.

Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project's drop-in

Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project's drop-in

But its bid to the Big Lottery Fund, which has supported the scheme for the last three years, has been turned down.

And if funds are not found soon, it may have to fold,

Stuart Athey runs the club, which is based at Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School, in Rothbury, and at the village’s Jubilee Hall.

He said: “The Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project has been delivering youth-focused services in the Upper Coquetdale area for the past 14 years and we owe it to the local young people to fight for its survival.

“They tell us how important it is to them. We are trying hard to get funding in from various sources, with limited success, and if there is not an upturn in our fortunes soon, we will have to consider the option of closing in the next few months.

“We have had kind donations recently from The Maudsley Family Fund, The Northumberland Youth Service and Rothbury Parish Council, which has enabled us to still deliver our services for the near future.”

But the club has had to cut back some services and dramatically cut workers’ hours in order to try to save money and carry on for as long as possible.

Stuart added: “We have asked Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School and the Jubilee Institute to stall or reduce our rent for their premises that we use until we are in a better financial situation.

“They have both kindly agreed to this as they see the benefits our project has to local young people.”

And one 13-year-old, Jordan Dixon, a pupil at the middle school, was so worried about the service closing that she used her Christmas holidays to go around Rothbury asking for money, raising over £300.

Stuart added: “Any contribution would significantly help in securing the future of the project by providing activities.”

To help support the project or find out more, contact Stuart on the details below.