A CHARITY that supports vulnerable young people has been given a much-needed boost in funding thanks to a donation of almost £26,000 from a local company.

Staff and trustees at The Abingdon Bridge (TAB) were given the grant by Infineum, which makes petrol additives.

The money came at the perfect time for Bridge Street-based charity, which has experienced a surge in use this winter.

In December, the charity’s manager, Gary Hibbins, said three people were being added to its waiting list every week, adding: “We are the only free service in the area so we are getting a lot of referrals from outside of Abingdon from places like Wantage, Didcot and Faringdon as well.”

Young people are referred to TAB by doctors or schools, or can refer themselves.

The charity offers a space for teenagers and young adults struggling with emotional issues to find independent confidential counselling support and advice.

Last year, TAB held more than 1,000 sessions for about 100 young people aged 13 to 25, covering everything from counselling and drug awareness to housing and employment advice.

The donation is the result of a year of fundraising activities by staff at the Milton Hill business, who selected TAB as their charity of the year.

TAB trustee and former Infineum employee, Dick Richards, was delighted with the donation.

He said: “This has exceeded all expectations. As soon as the staff at Infineum found out how TAB supports young people who may be struggling with stress, anxiety and depression, they were very keen to get involved.

“These funds will be used immediately to support our latest initiative aimed at helping young people to become more aware of the risks associated with social media.

“SMART is our Social Media Anxiety Resilience Team. The donation will have a massive impact on the programme.”

More information about the charity is available via theabingdonbridge.org.uk.