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A Cumbrian charity will celebrate the county’s young people and those who work with them later this month. Young Cumbria, which champions the needs of young people and provides high quality grassroots youth services across the county, is holding its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday September 25th in Keswick.
Braid Aitken, the Chairman of Young Cumbria, says: “Our Annual General Meeting is a great opportunity to highlight the needs of young people in Cumbria and the work Young Cumbria is doing to support them.
“Cuts in funding have presented all charities with significant challenges over the last few years, but thanks to the hard work and commitment of our staff and volunteers we have continued to provide a range of high quality youth services. Young Cumbria also supports and works with our member youth clubs and together we supported 8,695 young people throughout the county in the last year alone.”
Speakers at the meeting will include 19 year old Megan Fearnley who used to go to the Kendal Lads and Girls Club, which is run by Young Cumbria. Megan is now a volunteer at the club and training to be a youth worker with Young Cumbria.
Megan also took part in the Olympic Torch relay earlier this summer. She was nominated to be a torch bearer by a member of staff at Young Cumbria because of her contribution to supporting young people in the county. Among other activities she had a key role in writing funding bids which secured £80,000 to do up Kendal Lads and Girls Club.
A number of awards will also be handed out at the meeting including the Myles Walker Outstanding Contribution Award for a member of staff who has gone beyond the call of duty in supporting young people; a Young Leaders Award; the Don Langridge Award for the youth club that has shown the best community spirit; and a number of Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Kathleen Newson, the Chief Executive of Young Cumbria, says: “We’re looking forward to celebrating the achievements of young people in the county and the people who work hard to provide services for them. Young people are the future of this county and the youth services which are at the heart of Young Cumbria’s work play a vital role in helping those young people to grow and develop.
“A key challenge in the years ahead will be how we maintain and enhance the high quality, grassroots provision for young people we now have in the face of further cuts, and a changing funding environment which doesn’t always recognise the value that strong community roots bring to the calculations on value for money.”
Young Cumbria’s Annual Report for 2011-12 will be published at the meeting. It highlights some of the organisations achievements during the year including:
• the development of the Staying Safe programme which uses discussion, decision-making exercises, videos and games to help engage young people with important issues such as bullying and how drugs and alcohol affect personal safety.
• a Young People’s Question Time which gave over 120 young people the chance to question MPs and Cumbria’s Chief constable.
• the Big White Van mobile youth club which has been a hit in those parts of Allerdale where there are limited facilities for young people. This year another Big White Van has also been launched in Copeland.
The report also features Young Cumbria’s residential Centre Isthmus Cottage which is on the shoreline of Derwentwater and gives young people aged 8-25 the chance to enjoy and experience the Lake District National Park.
For more information about the work that Young Cumbria does visit www.youngcumbria.org.uk/
Pictured Braid and Kathleen