Sidmouth Youth Trust nets vital funding

FUNDING concerns for a project to provide a safe place for Sid Valley teens to socialise were allayed when it was awarded �5,582 that will keep it running for another 12 months.

The money will mean the Arches Youth Project, based on the Esplanade, can afford two youth workers in the next financial year.

Sidmouth Youth Trust leaders this week received confirmation from Devon Youth Service that an application for funding to the Local Youth Worker Network had been successful - after fearing they’d failed.

The good news, ironically, came after Sidmouth Town Council had called an extraordinary meeting on Monday to see how it could help the cause, if it needed financial assistance.

Councillors - who heard from youth trust chairman Di Fuller and vice-chairman Chris Rignall – pledged �5,000 towards running costs from their reserves as a short-term contingency should it be needed.

The Arches project provides somewhere for 13 to 19-year-olds to meet up. Open sessions are run by young people for the benefit of others who live or are educated in the Sidmouth area – with help from youth workers and a team of volunteers.

As well as providing food and drink, the Arches provides a range of activities, offers information, advice and support, and opportunities for volunteer and youth work training.

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“This is a very generous offer from the town council and much appreciated by the trust. It is a great vote of confidence,” Di told the Herald.

The Arches was officially opened in June 2010 and it is now used for 50 weeks of the year. More than 100 youngsters are now members and the average attendance at each session is between 10 and 15 young people.

The town council also vowed to consider long-term funding options for the cause later this year.

Councillor Stuart Hughes also said he’d discuss the charges made to Sidmouth Youth Trust from the Devon County Youth Service with the county council cabinet member responsible for youth work provision.

To support the work of Sidmouth Youth Trust as a volunteer or in any way, contact Di on 01395 576669.

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