Celebrations are underway at a once struggling drop-in centre for homeless youngsters in Worksop after the team was awarded more than £420,000 in Big Lottery funding.
The Centre Place, an organisation which offers a wide range of support to vulnerable young people in the district, have sourced their own funding from grant providers over 19 years and were on the brink of closure with staff put at risk of redundancy.
The team went through a two stage application process for the funding, which took almost 12 months. They never dreamed the application would be such a success, with £421,624 in funds awarded over a five year period. This is one of the largest grants to ever be awarded by the Big Lottery.
Helen Azar, manager of the centre, which is based on Abbey Road, said: “The entire staff team were overjoyed when the grant was awarded, and the centre was saved. We are all extremely proud of the work carried out here, and the significant impact this has on young people throughout their lives.
“This has clearly been recognised by Big Lottery who have invested such a significant amount of money within our work and community.”
The grant will help the centre in continuing to provide support to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and families within Bassetlaw. During the last year, The Centre Place has helped over 550 young people and families. 85 per cent are accessing on-going support of more than 6 months.
Zoe added: “As manager, this is my twelfth year of working within the organisation, and for me it is amazing how the range of services we provide have successfully developed, managing to overcome ongoing challenges and cutbacks.
“I am overwhelmed with pride in our staff team when looking back over our achievements and the positive impact we are able to continue to make as a result of this grant. We hope that the future of both The Centre Place and the young people we support is a bright one.”
The Centre Place provides support for young people who are homeless or in housing need, along with benefits and budgeting, finding employment and education, support for young parents, support for LGBT young people and counselling and mental health support.
The young people who access their services often access for around two to three years, and throughout that time receive support around a number of different issues.
The Centre Place was first founded in 1996, by a group of Bassetlaw professionals who came together to form a project aiming to support homeless young people. In the last 19 years, the project has evolved in line with local need and now provides a range of services to different disadvantaged groups.
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