GRANTS worth more than £7,000 have been given to volunteers helping to secure a future for a Bognor Regis youth project.
The helpers at the Number 18 Project have welcomed the Christmas cheer as they work to ensure it prospers without county council funding next year.
Derek Bell is the treasurer of the young people’s rights and information project in Waterloo Square.
He said the money would help the project to continue to run its important free and drop-in services.
“We have had news of a £4,709 grant from Sussex Community Foundation towards opening two evening sessions.
“The money will cover staff leadership costs and this means we will have a great team of staff and volunteers on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7pm-9.30pm.
“We are so grateful to the foundation at this time.”
Sussex Community Fund raises money and makes grants to charities such as Number 18 across East and West Sussex. It has donated £6m to more than 1,500 projects since 2006.
The other donation came from the Joint Western Arun Area Committee of county, district and parish councillors from the Bognor area. This was £2,810 to be spent on equipment-related needs.
Number 18 acting secretary Liz Allen said: “We need to install a disabled toilet and baby-changing facilities on our ground floor. “Also, two new laptops will enable better use of our counselling rooms by young people needing both privacy and to go online for matters such as job searches and information.
“CCTV equipment will also enable better monitoring of the three-storey premises and improve child protection and the safety of workers and volunteers too.
“Finally, a good video camera will help our consultative work with young people and also enable a Number 18 YouTube channel.”
The project has also recruited several excellent volunteers to help with the evening sessions.
Jan Cosgrove, its acting chairman, said: “This is the core of our project as we go forward.
“These guys are bringing great experience and skills to this project.
“Their combined worth in the coming year will be akin to a grant of £9,100, just for the two new youth sessions. This is a very exciting phase.”
The project is receiving donations and loans of musical equipment to help its work. These include a secondhand Roland synthesiser.
The new sessions have already started with the volunteers.
A number of facilities make up the project. They include a cafe and games area, information shop and sexual health clinic.
The project has a website www.number18project.org.uk and a Facebook page www.facebook.com/number18project