Battle to keep charity alive with Christmas fundraiser
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
An award-winning youth project is fighting for survival and needs to raise £58,000 annually for the next three years.
Holt Youth Project has been held up as a beacon of community-run youth work, supporting youngsters to reach their full potential.
It merged with East Anglian-based young people's charity Ormiston Families in 2014 in a move to safeguard future funding. But the project is now back under the control of a local set of trustees.
While it secured a National Lottery grant of £333,000 over three years, co-founder and manager Julie Alford said there was still an annual shortfall of £58,00 for the next three years.
However, she said she was "very confident" of meeting that target.
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She said: "To deliver all our programmes there is a shortfall. The Lottery money does not cover our ACT (Achieving, Confidence and Training) programme.
"However, we have a really good relationship with the community of north Norfolk and beyond.
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"I'm very confident we will raise it. We can also tap into some trust funds and Norman Lamb, who is one of our patrons, is very keen to support our work.
"Our whole ethos is community and family-oriented. It's all about the community and young people taking ownership of what we do."
The project is based in Old Station Road and boasts a well-equipped gym, workshop, beauty parlour, games rooms, allotment, kitchen serving free hot meals, and a space where children who look after terminally ill parents during the week, can enjoy a few hours being a child.
The charity also looks after distressed young men with nowhere to turn.
To kick-start the fundraising, the three churches in Blakeney, St Nicholas's, St Peter's and the Methodists, are holding a joint fundraiser.
The event will include a community reading from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with mince pies and mulled wine, at St Nicholas's Church, Blakeney on Friday, December 6, at 6pm. Tickets, £10, are available from St Nicholas's benefice office, Blakeney Methodists and St Peter's Catholic Church.
the youth project is also looking for volunteers with woodworking skills, musicians, and a treasurer.
If can help, visit https://www.holtyouthproject.org.uk/