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£15,000 Awarded to Close House


Hereford Voice
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Hereford City Council agreed to release this year’s grant of £15,000 to Close House in order to help fund their numerous projects, following a report presented by Ben Lea.

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Close House is a Youth Centre located in Hereford City Centre, and Hereford City Council have long been proud to support their brilliant work with young people. The Close House Project aims to be a safe, supportive and inspiring place for Hereford’s youth, breaking the cycle of negative experience and behaviour that some young people face, helping them find hope and aspiration and enabling them to control the direction their own lives take.

The ongoing funding from the City Council covers the cost of running their drop-in service, as well as the Idle Hands programme. Close House also help run the Hereford City Youth Council, which gives young people a voice on the Parish Council and helps introduce them to the inner workings of Council and office environments.

As unfortunately expected, the Covid-19 pandemic has made the work of Close House very difficult. Face-to-face appointments and meetings have not been possible, leaving many young people without the support they need without Close House. Though the group is now making a fresh start after the recent lifting of lockdowns, it has been difficult for staff to manage as several staff members have moved on and there is a marked lack of gap year students and volunteers.

However, Close House has made progress on branching out to more young people to seek able and willing help, and business is picking up rapidly. It’s no surprise that young people are keen to delve into Close House’s inspiring work. The Idle Hands project has worked through three outreach programmes in large spaces to enable meetings during the pandemic; this helps tackle risks posed to young people such as County Lines drawing them into drug-related issues and associated crime. Close House enables those vulnerable to these issues turn negative behaviour into positive behaviour; a truly applaudable goal.

City Councillors agreed that Close House’s work in the City is vital for young people in Hereford, and many spoke to express their appreciation for their ongoing work and support. It was agreed that the annual grant of £15,000 be released to help Close House continue their projects.

For more information on Close House, visit: www.closehouse.org

 

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