Youth charity celebrating after fending off threat of closure

Bournemouth Echo: SERVICE SAVED: Sue Sullivan, front red, with service users and volunteers outside Youth Aid’s offices in Blandford SERVICE SAVED: Sue Sullivan, front red, with service users and volunteers outside Youth Aid’s offices in Blandford

VOLUNTEERS at a Dorset charity dedicated to helping young people are celebrating after discovering the organisation can remain open.

Youth Aid, which is based in Blandford but helps people aged up to 25 from across the county, faced closure this winter in the face of financial strife.

But three months after an appeal for help appeared in the Daily Echo, the charity has revealed eleventh-hour support from the town will ensure it is able to continue its good work.

Founder and project manager Sue Sullivan said: “We feel incredibly lucky to be able to say that we won’t have to close.

“We have managed to secure two new locations for Youth Aid. Scruples Coffee House has offered us its internet cafe, which isn’t used very often, and we’ll be there twice a week for drop in and once for one-to-one confidential sessions. The DT11 forum has also given us the use of its buildings on Fridays too.”

Youth Aid opened in March 2012 to great success. It offers advice and counselling to young people with a range of different needs.

Its base in Salisbury Street is also used by the social services as a meeting place for families.

But the charity – which is self-sufficient – struggled to raise the £1,000 needed each month to keep running.

Sue, a qualified youth worker with 12 years of experience, said: “We are amazed and absolutely overwhelmed with the support we’ve had. We were all so worried about what would happen to our young people if we were to close.”

In its first year, Youth Aid had 1,720 visits, and the number looks set to rise. Between 10 and 20 clients receive support every day.

For more information, call Sue 01258 480317 or email sue.youthaid@btinternet.com

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