A Preston creative youth group is in danger of closing due to a funding crisis.Advertisement
Ablaze Community Youth Group, which has operated for 20 years, can no longer afford rising rent and other costs associated with its workshop at Oyston Mill on Strand Road.
The group is aimed at youths aged 12 and over, but also invites family and other community groups to be involved in its projects, allowing anybody to be involved regardless of ability.
Mainly involved in art and performance-based projects in the community, Ablaze has taken part in street parties, gala days, art workshops, heritage events, pantomimes, and carnival parades including Preston Guild and Lancashire Encounter.
A crowdfunder has been started with the aim of raising £3,000, and Ablaze will receive all pledges made by 3.02pm on Monday 28 January.
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Youth group leader Jackie May said: “The youth group was established in 1998 and has been volunteer-run with the help of various funding bids over the years.
“Due to circumstances beyond our control we have led a nomadic existence over the last few years and ended up operating everything from our workshop space, which we now can no longer use.
“We are hoping any money we raise can go towards a few months rent in a new space so we can get back on our feet again. We need somewhere members can relate to as home, and a place they know will be accessible at a regular time and place, within a community they can be involved in.
“After 20 years it would be sad to see an end to something that has brought so much pleasure to so many people. It has always been a unique group that has moulded itself to our members, allowing them to get involved in things they wouldn’t normally have the confidence or opportunity to do.
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“If we did have to stop, we would be devastated as its something the members are so passionate about providing within our community, but we are in danger of having to sell or possibly destroy everything we have created.
“We just hope the community we love so much can help us to keep the flame alive for as long as possible. “
To contribute to the fundraising, visit Ablaze’s Crowdfunder page.
Have you heard of Ablaze? What do you think of the funding issues? Let us know in the comments below.