THE closure of two Littlehampton youth projects has brought to an end a charity’s 15-year link with the community.
LA-UK, which was launched in 2007 and supported disadvantaged young people in the Wick area, and the Young Carers Befriending Scheme, based in Littlehampton but working across West Sussex, both closed last month, although the five staff employed are continuing to wind down operations until the end of this month.
However, Arun Community Church and other organisations are working hard to continue supporting the young people affected by the closure of the projects.
They were run by the Christian charity Spurgeons, with funding from other sources, too, and developed out of the innovative WIRE Project, which was set up in 1997 to help families and young people in Wick.
The closure of LA-UK has meant the end of its CREW sessions for young people considered to be at risk of getting into trouble. They were taken out by LA-UK staff and volunteers on activities around the area, to foster team-building skills and help them to work through issues such as managing anger and conflict in their lives.
The young carers scheme provided regular support for young people acting as carers within their families, by providing them with trips out such as shopping, the cinema and football matches, to give them some relief from their duties at home.
Two young people who were being supported were considered to be at a sensitive time in their lives, and will continue to be helped. Others had reached the point where they were no longer needing support, or have been picked up by other agencies.
Al Evans, a Spurgeons manager working in West Sussex, said: “As much as possible, everyone is trying to keep the momentum of the work of the past 15 years going.
“The priority has been to minimise the impact on vulnerable children and young people, but inevitably there will be some loss of support.
“There have been difficulties in funding in recent times, but when opportunities arise again in the future, Spurgeons wants to grab those and become involved in Littlehampton again. I would also like to thank the staff and volunteers who worked with the projects.”