Cake sale helps Bridgnorth youth club survival bid raise £12,000

A fundraising drive to try to save a youth club helped raise £12,000 in just under a week.

Neve Cramm, 12, and Annabel Buckley, 11, serve Merab Walker, 11, to raise funds
Neve Cramm, 12, and Annabel Buckley, 11, serve Merab Walker, 11, to raise funds

Bridgnorth Youth Club is threatened with closure because of Shropshire Council budget cuts, said town councillor Julia Buckley.

She and others set up an online fundraiser to try to secure a 12-month contract from this April, and a cake sale was held outside AFC Bridgnorth on Saturday to help hit the target, which has now been surpassed.

Councillor Buckley said the cake sale raised £350 in about two hours.

"We arranged for the newly-formed 'Bridgnorth Litter Pickers' group to help tidy up the nearby football club, cricket club and Crown Meadow play area, so we knew there would be plenty of 'passing trade'," she said.

"In the last week we have had such an overwhelming response to our youth club appeal, it has been really heart-warming to see the community pull together to support our young people as they emerge from Covid lockdown.

"We launched the appeal on March 2 after the town council were unable to guarantee the club's funding and future beyond March 31, when Shropshire Council plan to close the club and have pulled financial support."

The contract is to provide qualified youth workers and activities to be put in place for 12 months from April 1.

By the third day, the full amount of funding was achieved and donations continue to roll in – currently at more than £13,000 from over 339 individual donations, ranging from £2 to £1,500.

Testimonies

Some of those who donated shared their own thoughts.

Andrea Wright said: "It's vital that our children have places like this one to go to once lockdown is over. Thank you for fighting for this."

Laura Broster said: "Very concerned that if we lose this facility we will never get it back."

Dean Lewis said: "Our young people matter. It's not our jobs to cut but to provide more to make a better future."

Sheena Richardson said: "Well done, now more than ever, kids need activities and places to go. Would be happy to volunteer if needed."

Tania Cooper said: "I hope that this will be able to save the youth centre and that my children have somewhere that they can go and feel safe as there is nothing for them to do at the moment."

Rob Rawlings said: "My children worked, my friends and I have spent many hours keeping dry, warm and out of trouble in the youth centre."

Businesses

Dozens of Bridgnorth businesses have donated funds too.

Councillor Buckley will now donate the first £12,000 raised to the town council and has proposed at the next meeting for the council to confirm the contract to protect the service at the Innage Lane youth club.

"A huge thank you to everyone in the town for pulling together and showing their support for our young people when they need it most. What a fantastic community we live in, where everyone looks out for each and is prepared, in such difficult financial times, to pay extra for this important facility."

All the additional donations beyond the target will be donated to the Bridgnorth Youth Forum so it can be shared amongst other groups who may need additional support.

"It's been a good week for young people in Bridgnorth."

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