Hailsham Youth Service, which provides activities, support services and opportunities for young people in the local area, has received £500 from a Tesco grant, part of the retailer’s £52million package of support for local communities affected by the COVID-19 and lockdown earlier this year.
Tesco’s 'Bags of Help' grant programme responded to the ongoing pandemic by setting up a short-term fund offering one-off grants of £500 to not-for-profit organisations,  helping vulnerable groups in their local community. Organisations whose need for services has been disrupted, who require to put in place new services or and those facing increased demand were prioritised.
The funding will be used by the Town Council’s youth project services team, Hailsham Youth Service, to go towards the costs involved in reinstating its clubs, activities and services which were closed in March, due to the lockdown.
As well as running clubs and centres including the Square Youth Cafe, Hailsham Youth Service provides support services for young people, in addition to organising a range of recreational outings and activities as part of the Friday Night Project.
In recent years, the Town Council has expanded its youth service provision to include additional centres, venues and support services, the latest of which have been the Monday Youth Hub which takes place at the James West Community Centre, Safehub facility at the Service's Market Square premises and the new Hellingly Youth Club, which will launch in the new community hall in Hellingly later this autumn.
Andy Joyes, Youth Project Coordinator at Hailsham Town Council said, “We are delighted to receive this funding from the Tesco community grant fund and extremely grateful to them for supporting our important youth projects in Hailsham and Hellingly.”
“Funding for our various youth projects is always needed to keep services running and to make sure that everyone gets the chance to use them. The young people who attend our centres and take part in our activities will benefit considerably from this donation.”
Deputy Youth Project Coordinator, Helen Deane, commented: "The decision in March to close our services was not made lightly and came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures which were imposed at the time. We do however look forward to reopening our centres and reinstating many of our services in the coming weeks!"
"With all the guidance from the Government now impacting in our everyday lives, we will be putting measures in place to make sure we’re protecting the health and safety of young people who will be attending our centres and taking part in activities."
"The generous funding received from the Tesco grant will support us considerably and go towards the cost of setting up our centres once again following the long period of closure this year. We look forward to welcoming our local young people back very soon."
Workers from the Town Council’s youth service team continue to maintain a presence in Hailsham as lockdown easing continues.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in liaison with Sussex Police and other authorities, Hailsham Youth Service remobilised its detached provision in June in specific areas identified as needing further support during the pandemic. The success of the detached work, in helping to keep antisocial behaviour low, had resulted in an increase of detached work engagement from three evenings to five evenings a week.
Additionally, Hailsham Youth Service has continued to remain in contact with young people remotely since the onset of the pandemic and consequential closure of the Square Youth Cafe and other local youth facilities, through its social media pages.
For further information on Hailsham Youth Service, email info@hailshamyouthservice.org.
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