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Key youth projects in the balance because of funding problems
9:02am Thursday 16th January 2014 in News
VITAL schemes to give young people in Ludlow a chance of improving their lives are at risk unless additional funding can be found.
The South Shropshire Youth Forum say that schemes to help the youth of the area to tackle alcohol abuse and find a way of earning a living are in jeopardy.
It is a problem that results from cuts in funding to key services.
Richard Morley from the forum has appealed to Ludlow Town Council for help.
He said that the projects envisaged for 2014 will require £18,000 and only half of it has so far been raised.
Mr Morley added that because of cuts he is effectively working largely as a 'one man band' trying to raise money and work with young people.
One of the projects that the forum is involved with works with young people on a Saturday evening and provides alternatives to going out drinking.
Another project that is envisaged for the future will give young people, who are finding difficulty in finding work, an opportunity to earn some money running a horticultural business.
This is a spin off from a successful scheme in which a group of young people have been helping disabled and older people in Ludlow to tend their gardens.
Another project enables the youth of the town to take part in healthy activities such as football sessions which have been held at Ludlow Football Club.
There has also been a youth club and play scheme at the Rockspring Centre.
But the future of all of this work hangs in the balance unless additional funding can be secured.
"With the provision for young people across the county coming into effect we have found ourselves fulfilling traditional roles by being asked to run youth clubs and play schemes, while the demand by young people to develop new and exciting projects to respond to their local needs is increasing," said Lesley McKinight, chair of the trustees of the Youth Forum.
"However, with lottery funding ending in 2012 it has been a challenging year financially . We continue to operate with no core funding but we have been working and engaging with the same number of young people as we have in previous years."
In conclusion she said in the annual report of the Youth Forum that it is continuing to survive but much remains to be done.
Members of Ludlow Town Council's services committee have voted to try to support the Youth Forum and the issue will be considered by the policy and finance committee.
Town councillor Glen Ginger said that he believes that the forum is especially worthy of support.
One option would be providing help with preparing funding bids.