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Downham Market Swan Youth Project receives £15,000 from the borough council

Swan Youth Project logo

Published: Thursday, 18th August 2022

Downham Market based charity the Swan Youth Project has received £15,000 from the borough council to help them to continue to support young people and their families.

The Downham Market centre hosts twice weekly positive activities for young people, regularly reaching their maximum limit of 48 people attending each session. These open access sessions feed into other support services, including one to one support for mild and emerging mental health, family support work, small group work, young carers key work support, bike maintenance and both food and hygiene banks.

Cllr Sam Sandell, Cabinet member for People and Communities at the borough council, said:

“Around 300 young people, aged 8 to 18 years old, are given educational, social, and emotional support by the charity each year. All of their services are over-subscribed and over the last few years they have seen an increase in mental health concerns and family breakdown, related to the covid pandemic.

“I’m pleased that this funding from the covid ‘Controlled Outbreak Management Fund’ (COMF) will help support them to continue their vital work supporting young people in and around Downham Market.”

Anna Foster, CEO and Project Manager at the Swan Youth Project, said:

“The £15K is vital to us as a small charity who get no statutory support. We are at the front line, delivering vital services to our community, which would not be happening if we were not here.

“We need around £170K per year to run our project, which is amazing value for money. We are finding that this year funding is much more difficult to secure and can see that this will definitely be harder over the coming years due to the financial crisis currently happening.”

Cllr Stuart Dark, MBE, Leader of the borough council, added:

“I have visited the Swan Youth Project and seen directly the great work they do to support many local children in Downham Market. What they do and their leadership team are something special.

“Regrettably the demand for their services increased during the pandemic and post it – making them clearly eligible for the prompt support funding we are offering them to cope with this increased demand. It is £15,000 to a very good cause that needs it.”

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