Witney News - Council support for youth centre

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Council support for youth centre

A Witney-based youth centre will receive further support from West Oxfordshire District Council following approval of a grant for £5,000.

Base 33 is unique to the district as it runs a range of projects supporting vulnerable young people who may be homeless, have problems such as drug, alcohol or substance misuse or be involved with low level crime.

Founded by three local Witney churches (Anglican, Methodist, Congregational), Base 33 now supports up to 150 young people each week through project work, youth club nights and daily drop-in sessions.

Funding support comes from a range of sources, but mainly from the West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership, churches, donations and fundraising activities. Both county and district councils have funded specific projects including leisure activities, homeless prevention and mentoring work.

This year a significant reduction in donations left the future of Base33 hanging in the balance. An urgent financial review highlighted the over-reliance on ad-hoc donations and the need for a financial strategy to establish a regular stream of income for core work.

However following a newspaper appeal, Base 33 has secured a boost in donations and three local businesses have come forward with the promise of regular annual contributions. Together with the £5,000 grant from West Oxfordshire District Council, Base 33 will now be able to maintain its current service until March 2012.

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Communities said, “Without any question Base 33 provides a valuable and vital service for our district. I have met with the manager and Trustees and am confident the changes they are proposing will help establish longer-term core funding. With an under-spend of £5,000 in our grants budget, we are fortunate to be in a position to help out this year.”

In 2008 Base 33 gained the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Posted : 21/07/2011 12:32:07

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