Cash boost for threatened Kessingland youth club

A youth club which provides much needed facilities in a north Suffolk village and has seen a large slice of vital funding withdrawn has been given a major boost.

Young people at the Hangout in Kessingland, near Lowestoft, are celebrating after the club received a �2,000 grant from the Suffolk Foundation.

The money has given the youth club a 12 month fund-raising reprieve by enabling it to meet essential running costs.

Club members needed to raise �12,000 this year to keep the Hangout going.

The Suffolk Foundation grant means that target has been reached – enabling the Hangout to concentrate on organising fund-raising events from next summer.

Members and volunteers at the club had feared that if the �12,000 target was not reached then the number of meetings, activities and advice sessions at the Hangout would have to be drastically slashed.

Some of the club's members were even worried that the club in Francis Road would have to close its doors.

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The rest of the �12,000 came from fund-raising events, such as pub quizzes, Kessingland Parish Council and the club's reserves.

By reaching the target the club hopes to continue its residential trips as well.

Michele Head, senior youth worker, said members were pleased the �12,000 target had been reached – allowing them to start focusing on next year's fund-raising.

She said: 'This �2,000 has kept the wolf from the door until next summer and has reassured young people it will keep going now.'

The �2,000 came from a pot of money managed by the Suffolk Foundation on behalf of the county's police.

Judi Newman, the foundation's development director, said: 'As a community grant-maker, we greatly value the work of grassroots groups who are active in the heart of their communities.

'The Hangout is a very positive example of a small group making a big difference to the lives of young people locally, both through the youth club and the advice on offer.'

Kessingland Parish Council's grant will be used to fund two part-time workers whose funding had been withdrawn by Suffolk County Council as part of a package of �42.5m budget cuts.

The cuts have led to eight other open access youth clubs in Waveney facing closure through a divestment programme.

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