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Cash helps youth group hit the wall
YOUNGSTERS will soon have a new climbing wall and somewhere to practise their tightrope skills, thanks to a funding boost.
Yesterday, more than £13,000 in grants to youth organistations across the county were signed off as part of the latest round of Oxfordshire County Council’s Chill Out Fund.
One of those was the Pump House Project in Faringdon – a centre for parkour, free running, dance, climbing and other activities – which received £2,500 to pay for a climbing wall and slack line rigs.
Project trustee Lou Smith said: “We’re absolutely thrilled. We did worry because I did the application with another trustee and we’re no good at filling in forms, but the Chill Out Fund people were so helpful.
“Our whole project is very much run by the kids, so we asked them to help out and they wrote all these wonderful testimonials about the project and what they want from it.
“The money is going to be spent on indoor equipment. We’re going to be putting in slack line equipment for tightrope walking and a bouldering wall.”
Other projects to receive cash include a group run in Oxford by the Birmingham Catholic Youth Services, which was given £3,012 to take 20 young people aged between 12 and 19 to Alton Towers. A grant of £1,000 was given to the Cherwell Theatre Company towards the training of young people ahead of a production of Aladdin at Banbury’s Mill Arts Centre.
Artistic director Nasser Memarzia said: “We’re very pleased. This will be very helpful because we are not in receipt of any regular funding, so every little helps.
“The company works with a large number of young people in the Banbury area and this is a big community-based professional project which involves young people working side-by-side with professionals. They really love it, it’s a wonderful learning environment for them and the adults enjoy working with the young people – it creates a really vibrant atmosphere.”
Work to help young people at the Oxford Hub will be boosted by a £4,000 grant and a further £2,542 will be used by the Revive Youth Group in Oxford to buy musical instruments.
County cabinet member for the voluntary sector Hilary Hibbert-Biles signed off the £13,054 of funding at Wednesday’s meeting. She said: “There are scores of local organisations which carry out hugely positive work to improve the lives of young people in Oxfordshire – the Chill Out Fund is there for these groups to apply to for funding to further enhance the provision of services for youngsters locally.
“I am sure the money I have granted will greatly benefit those who access the different activities that these services provide.”
The Chill Out Fund is a £100,000 annual pot allocated by the county council to organisations providing activities for young people.
The fund is not meant to be a regular funding source for groups, but aims instead to support one-off projects, and applicants must demonstrate they have found match funding.
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