Youth group in need of funding seeks help from Berkhamsted businesses

The Swan Youth Project gives children and young adults a place to go in Berkhamsted
The Swan Youth Project gives children and young adults a place to go in Berkhamsted

A Berkhamsted youth group is hoping local businesses can help with funds – before it faces a funding shortfall.

The Swan Youth Project puts on safe activities for young people and is used by up to 40 children every weekday.

But its funding has fallen from £76k in 2015 to £47k in 2017, and the project wants to get local businesses on board before the shortfall becomes a serious problem in the next two years.

“It’s a constant battle and challenge to keep getting funding. The battle goes on all the time,” says Padraig Dowd, who is the treasurer and a trustee of the project.

“Now we are trying to get the local business community to get a lot more involved.

“We are being proactive and changing tactics to try and get new lines of funding.”

The project, based at the Swan Youth Centre in the town’s High Street, offers young people their own space to meet, relax, play games or otherwise socialise away from the stresses of school or home life.

Activities include after-school drop-ins, music and art based projects, field trips and educational workshops.

And their HQ is fully equipped with a DJ booth, band practice room, pool table and coffee bar.

But with council grants as its only guaranteed income, the group hopes local businesses in the town can get on board with the project.

Padraig adds: “We have a contribution to make because we are filling in a gap. There’s lots of youngsters who need a place to go and chill with their peers and get away from whatever pressures they’re having in their life.”

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