Youth project keen to carry on and expand

Despite a challenging few years, Rothbury Youth Project is determined to carry on, as it is making a real impact on the youngsters it is working with.

Friday, 21st April 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:18 pm
Brought to you by the Northumberland Gazette.

That was the assessment by the scheme’s chairman, Graham Lockwood, as he spoke to Rothbury Parish Council last Wednesday.

He admitted that the initiative had endured some tough times due to funding and staffing issues, but had turned the corner and was even hoping to expand in the future.

He said: “Our heyday was between 2012 and 2014 when we had Lottery funding. Since then we have struggled financially and in terms of staffing.

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“For a number of months we were closed, but we have since re-established the project as of October last year.

“Over the last 18 months or so, we have been relying on reserves, but we have, however, got some funding applications in, and we would like about £4,000 each year to fund what we are currently doing.

“There was a period where we thought is it worth continuing, because we weren’t getting the young people and we were struggling for staff.

“But we have had help from the Gallery Youth Project in Alnwick and the Local Education Authority, which has provided a worker.

“We want to continue and we want to provide the service and we are looking to raise money to carry on and provide at least one night a week, but in the future we would like to expand that to more nights.”

He said the project, which has an open-door policy and primarily caters for teenagers, is attracting around half a dozen youngsters at the moment.

But he added: “These are the young people we need to be working with, which is one of the reasons why we want to continue. We are making good relationships with young people and we are having an impact on the way they are behaving.”

The project meets on Thursdays, from 7pm to 9pm, at the Jubilee Hall.

The parish council agreed to donate £500 to the project, subject to a review to top-up the amount if required.