Thousands to bolster youth work success

ALMOST �300,000 will be divided between youth organisations in North Somerset to enable them to keep activities running for youngsters.

After North Somerset Council announced it would completely cut its general youth work budget from this financial year, many communities came together to create commissioning networks to organise and find funding for youth work in their area.

Made up of parish and town councils, faith groups, school representatives, other community groups and volunteers, the networks were later invited to bid for a share of the council’s positive activities innovation fund.

This followed enabling grants, which were given out to allow networks to fund the start of their efforts.

The authority has looked at their latest bids and decided Nailsea should get �21,500, Clevedon �32,348 and Portishead �29,250.

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The mid-rural group, covering Congresbury, Yatton and Backwell, has been allocated �27,000, the Long Ashton network �16,550 and the Pill network �29,169. The remainder has been allocated for five other networks across the district.

The final decision on the amount each network will receive still needs to be signed off by executive member for education, Cllr Jeremy Blatchford, after the figures were recommended to him by council officers. The networks also have to agree to the council’s terms relating to the funding.

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However, the news comes as a boost to the many volunteers working hard to bolster the future success of youth work in their area.

In response to the funding offer, chairman of the Nailsea network, Community Opportunities in Nailsea, Karl Day said: “We will hold a meeting in September to discuss exactly how we could use the money.

“We will be able to do a lot more for the young people in and around Nailsea.”

The original amount due to be given out by the council was �250,000, but this was increased to �291,017 after it received bids totalling �461,000.

Suggestions from the groups for spending the money include sports, art and play activities, community festivals, training volunteer coaches and keeping youth provision going in places where there were previously council-ran youth clubs.

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