Project 94, a youth club in Bordon, has received a £30,000 grant from East Hampshire District Council which secures the jobs of youth workers in Whitehill & Bordon.

The grant was approved by deputy council leader Cllr Andy Tree, who said: “I very much support enhancing youth provision in Whitehill & Bordon and was delighted to be able to make the decision to approve this grant.”

Jodie Gibbs-Farrow, co-founder of Project 94, added: “This funding allows us to confidently plan for the future. With East Hampshire District Council’s ongoing support we can continue to provide much needed activities, sessions and support for young people in the local area.”

Project 94 caters for children aged 11 to 16 during term time, offering a safe space for relaxation, creativity and socialising. It is a welcoming environment for young people to unwind, meet friends and do homework. In the holidays it hosts on-site and off-site activities including special educational needs sports sessions, community projects, mental health support sessions and community outreach initiatives.

The council’s Supporting Communities Fund, established in 2019 with £1 million, supports various community groups and organisations in the district.

The grant is significant in light of challenges faced by youth services in England and Wales. Before the pandemic youth services were severely hit by austerity measures, resulting in funding cuts of 70 per cent by local authorities between 2010-11 and 2018-19. 

More than 4,500 youth work jobs were lost and 750 youth centres closed. Covid then saw 17 per cent of youth groups face the threat of closure and 88 per cent anticipate cuts. A Beatfreeks National Youth Trends Report said 58 per cent of young people  said they felt unsure about their future as a result of the pandemic.