Kids call for help saving Clayton Brook youth project

Focused: Volunteers and users from ASPIRE, who are calling on authorties to help the project keep running
Focused: Volunteers and users from ASPIRE, who are calling on authorties to help the project keep running
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  • Scheme set up two years ago to tackle anti-social behaviour
  • Work so successful, the project won a national award last year
  • It will close down at the end of the month through a lack of funding
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Fears are growing an award-winning youth project will close at the end of the month because of a lack of funding.

ASPIRE, which operates out of Clayton Brook Village Hall, has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the area by 70 per cent in two years through youth groups and family support work.

We’ve invested so much into this and the kids love coming. They’re so desperate to keep this going that they’re even offering their own pocket money and birthday money

It was set up ago with Lottery cash given to housing provider Places for People, and last year won the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group Award.

Now the £20,000 a year funding has run out and fears are growing that good work will be undone.

Volunteer Mark Lee said: “This is something that is successful and needs to continue.

“We’ve invested so much into this and the kids love coming. They’re so desperate to keep this going that they’re even offering their own pocket money and birthday money.

“They’re very focused and are also campaigning for Places for People and Chorley Council to find some funding. We know the money’s there, and the savings we’re helping authorities make by stopping anti-social behaviour are phenomenal.”

Police Sgt Neil Sladen has praised the scheme as “making a positive difference” in the community.

Places for People said ASPIRE was set up to run for 12 months and although further funding will not be provided, other activities will continue.

A spokesman for the association said: “We are committed to supporting young people living in our neighbourhoods, and we are looking at what other provision we can also provide. We hope to continue working alongside the volunteers at ASPIRE and would welcome their ideas and suggestions on how best to support young people in the local area. We’d like to reassure the volunteers, young people and residents that this isn’t the end of youth provision in Clayton Brook and we remain committed to supporting the community.”

Coun Bev Murray of Chorley Council praised the scheme and said: “We did give them a grant to help them in 2013/14 but they’ve not applied for one from us since. However we have been helping ‘in kind’ particularly with officer time supporting their activities and in fact we have a meeting planned to develop this further by bringing Doorstep Sports Club activities each week.”