A Melton youth club has been held up as a shining example of how a community should support its young people by the county police and crime commissioner as he provided £10,000 to keep it going for another year.
Lord Willy Bach praised The Venue, which caters for 100 children and teenagers at its base at Phoenix House in Nottingham Street, as he granted its application for a grant from his office’s ‘Prevention Fund’.
The club, which runs social sessions on Thursdays and Fridays, supports and advises vulnerable youngsters and gives free food to members whose families struggle to feed them, was in danger of closing earlier this year because of a shortage of money.
But, the crime commissioner stepped in with a grant of £9,568.
He said: “The best way we can reduce demand and help young people is by keeping them out of trouble and the criminal justice system.
“That’s why I was pleased to be able to help The Venue when it applied for funding.
“This project is doing something really positive for young people in Melton Mowbray, and I intend to visit it soon to get a closer look at the work it is doing.
“This is exactly the type of project I want to support with my Prevention Fund.
“It echoes my Police and Crime Plan in terms of reducing reoffending and helps young people become fully engaged members of their community.”
The news delighted Melton Learning Hub, which manages services at the The Venue.
The hub is also applying for funding from the National Lottery’s ‘Reaching Communities’ pot to pay for two full-time community coaches to support the town’s young people even further.
Hub manager Sarah Cox said: “It is great news that the crime commissioner has given us this money.
“It means The Venue will continue for another year, and he said he would consider a further application next year as well.
“It’s a massive relief that we can keep this service going because it is so important to young people in Melton.”
Sarah said the ongoing funding application had passed the first stage and was about to enter the second, and it was hoped the community coaches could be in place by the end of the year.
“The coaches would be a great investment in the town because they will be able to support our members with their education, with any family issues they have, social isolation and anything which is proving a challenge for them,” she added.
Sessions at The Venue are Thursday afternoons (8-13yrs) and Thursday and Friday evenings (12-17yrs) with new members welcome.