Charity must raise £20,000 to survive
A YOUTH charity that has reduced truanting and the crime rate in the Woodbridge area is facing closure unless it can quickly raise £20,000.The Just 42 charity has won high praise from the police, schools and local authorities - but the 6,000 hours of work with young people planned for the next financial year could be scrapped if money is not found.
By Richard Smith
A YOUTH charity that has reduced truanting and the crime rate in the Woodbridge area is facing closure unless it can quickly raise £20,000.
The Just 42 charity has won high praise from the police, schools and local authorities - but the 6,000 hours of work with young people planned for the next financial year could be scrapped if money is not found. The jobs of six paid youth workers are also at risk.
Just 42 was set up three years ago by Christians and they took the name from chapter 42 of the book of Isaiah, which says 'He will bring lasting justice to all.'
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The charity is helping 150 teenagers each week in Woodbridge, Hasketon, Grundisburgh and the Wilford Peninsula.
It provides one-to-one mentoring, and operates youth activity groups, drugs projects, alcohol education and drop in centres. Young people are made to feel confident and accepted, learn new skills and find direction.
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Jane Chevous, project director, said: “This is not so much about our jobs but we have worked with over 500 young people and they tell us that we have made a real difference in their lives.
“They needed to meet in a safe place with their friends and to talk about issues about growing up.''
The charity has been supported by government and non-government funds, private donations, and by the Seckford Foundation and churches.
But trustee Neville Stein said: ''Grants are increasingly difficult to get; there is less money around, and more people trying to get it.
“We need £20,000 by the end of March, and we are looking for contributions from local businesses and individuals. If we could get 500 people to give £10 a month our problems would be solved.''
Woodbridge county councillor Ben Redsell said: “Just 42 provides a great deal of support for young people.
“Its work in schools, where it intervenes with young people at risk from exclusion, is particularly effective. This is because it is seen as independent from the school, and therefore not part of the system.
“The work it does in diverting young people away from crime and in relation to drugs and alcohol education is already producing tangible results in Woodbridge, and I should be very sad to see it forced to close.
“I will be helping with some money from my locality budget, but the work that Just 42 does is so vital that I urge anyone who can to dig deep and help to rescue this charity.''
Chief Inspector Terry Byford, Suffolk Coastal District Commander, said: “Any project that works positively with young people deserves support, and Just 42 provides an excellent diversionary facility, keeping kids usefully and positively engaged.
“Over the years we have linked up on a variety of projects, and they do a huge amount for young people in and around Woodbridge. To lose the facility would be a great shame.''
Carol Harley has a son at the Games Club. She said: “It has been a great club for my teenage son. The people running it have been wonderful. Their balance of leadership and nurturing has encouraged our son to be a part of the group.
“I've recommended the club to many of my friends with teenage sons, and my son has invited many of his friends to join, too.”