Youth centre fundraising to help transport children with urgent needs

Anna Foster, project manager at the Swan Youth Project in Downham Market, has given some tips to help us improve...

The Swan Youth Centre in Downham Market has continued supporting young people in the area throughout the pandemic. - Credit: Anna Foster

A Norfolk youth centre has set up an emergency fund appeal to help transport local young people with urgent needs.

The Swan Youth Project in Downham Market is supporting around 150 young people in the area each year and has remained open throughout the pandemic to offer support to those in need.

Anna Foster, project manager at the Swan Youth Project in Downham Market, has given some tips to help us improve...

The Swan Youth Centre in Downham Market has continued supporting young people in the area throughout the pandemic. - Credit: Anna Foster

A JustGiving page has been set up to help with fundraising, which said support for children at the centre has "never felt more important" but some young people still deal with barriers for them to access the group's services.

It added: "For some, they simply cannot get to us, and cannot afford a taxi to transport them. For others, they do not have the correct items for school, or shoes that let them join in with out outdoor activities."

The centre is asking the local community to help it set up a small emergency fund that will ensure it is able to help every child who needs support.

Project manager Anna Foster said: "We are wanting to raise funds so we can transport young people to the centre who may be stuck in villages without transport.

The Swan Youth Centre has set up an emergency fund appeal to help transport local young people with urgent needs.

The Swan Youth Project in Downham Market is supporting around 150 young people in the area each year and has remained open throughout the pandemic to offer support to those in need. - Credit: Swan Youth Centre

"This becomes an issue in us being able to support appropriately, as there is no reliable public transport in many villages and taxis are very expensive.

"We also come across other issues where we need to support a young person or family in crisis that we currently do not have the funds to do, so this will allow us to have a small fund that is able to buy essential items or pay for transport."

The Swan Youth Project has been involved in the No Child Hungry campaign in the town, which was initially set up tp provide food parcels for children for the two weeks over Christmas for families in need.

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The scheme continued throughout January and February and food parcels are also being provided throughout March and April - supporting more than 50 families and 117 children.

Ms Foster said: "We are proud that we have made it possible for young people and families to visit us as we know that the impact of face to face support is far greater where it is possible."