Rallying call to help save youth project

Rothbury Street Fair'The Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project stall'Picture Mary Scott
Rothbury Street Fair'The Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project stall'Picture Mary Scott

A long-running youth project is in danger of folding because of low user numbers and concerns over future funding.

And those involved with the group are making a desperate plea to encourage more support, before it is too late.

Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project (RCYP) has been operating in the village for a decade.

The charity provides regular opportunities for local young people to meet and access services, while highly-trained youth workers are on hand to offer support.

Sessions for Year 8 pupils are held at Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School, while the Jubilee Hall caters for 13 to 20-year-olds.

But the drop-in for the older children is facing an uncertain future after the number of youngsters regularly attending has fallen dramatically.

And with funding in danger of drying up, there’s a very real concern that the project as a whole could be facing crisis point.

Volunteer Cheryl Lickiss said: “Considering the cost to hire rooms and to pay for the youth work, it entails a great deal of work to write to charitable organisations, private and public trusts to request contributions to allow the project to keep running. The funding from the Big Lottery – Reaching Communities Fund needed to maintain the running of the project is now coming to an end and we are now getting low on resources.

“To save money, we have reduced employee hours and youth sessions, but if funding is not sought soon, there may be a possibility that it will not be able to carry on.

“We are making a plea to parents with young people who may like to attend the project, as well as to the local community, to ask them to consider a donation to RCYP, or to help with the running of the project.

“Any contribution would be highly beneficial to the security of the project and would help towards providing activities, opportunities and services for young people, developing into individuals with a future ahead of them as they progress in the wider world.”

Highlighting the problem facing the group that meets at the Jubilee Hall on Tuesdays, she said: “We are finding it increasingly difficult to attract young people.

“It is in very real danger of folding. Numbers have fallen to about four children and it is not sustainable. It is a matter of concern, because we need young people to attend for the project to continue.

“It is such a worthwhile project and gives youngsters the chance to watch DVDs, play the computer and talk to adults about a range of things, like career guidance and health.”

To help promote the project and attract more youngsters, RCYP will have a stall with a tombola at the village’s annual street fair on Monday, May 25.

For details and to help, call 01669 621398, 078177 13437 or email rcyp@btconnect.com