Young People March will 'fight like we always have' to keep open despite £6,800 funding loss

PUBLISHED: 14:26 04 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:26 04 January 2017

Volunteer Ross Usher with Young People March service users and staff.

Volunteer Ross Usher with Young People March service users and staff.

Archant

Young People March (YPM) say they will "fight like we always have" to keep open for the 150 young people who use it weekly despite the loss of council funding.

Young People March volunteers receiving awards for volunteering at YPM's junior club.Young People March volunteers receiving awards for volunteering at YPM's junior club.

Fenland Council has been gradually withdrawing support and says this year’s £6,800 grant will be the last.

One immediate consequence will be a reduction in some of the centre’s sessions that will be decreased by around half an hour – worked around when young people are least likely to use the service to minimise the impact to users.

YPM manager Sarah Brown warned that they may also be forced to reduce opening hours by two days a week but “we’re fighting on, like we have done for years.

“Funding is always one of our main battles. Because we have always been here with our doors open, people think we are alright.

“But it is a struggle to keep the hours, staff and funding coming in.”

YPM received its last cash from FDC in November.

Miss Brown said: “We’re still using that so at this moment in time we’re fine and, hopefully, more funding will come in. We have also had an increase in the number of different organisations wishing to hire the hall.”

YPM offers young people access to information about employment, education or personal issues on a drop-in basis and has applied to funding groups for help.

Fenland Council says ending funding was no reflection on “the type and quality of work delivered. The fact that funding has been provided for many years is testament to the quality of that work.

“However, the council has had to take many difficult decisions as part of a review.”

In November YPM was given a £1,920 grant to continue running Monday evening drop in sessions for 11-18 year olds. The money came from the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation Youth Fund, which was set up in 2014 by Councillor Jason Ablewhite, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire.

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