Choice cut of EU pie saves scheme

A PROJECT which has helped teenagers into training and education will be able to continue after a £130,000 boost from Europe. The grant for Youth Choices – announced on Friday by Cambridgeshire MEP Richard Howitt – has saved the scheme from closing. The p

A PROJECT which has helped teenagers into training and education will be able to continue after a £130,000 boost from Europe.

The grant for Youth Choices - announced on Friday by Cambridgeshire MEP Richard Howitt - has saved the scheme from closing.

The project was set up with initial funding of £486,000 from the European Social Fund in 2005. The project is run by Nacro, the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, but anyone aged between 13 and 19 can use it.

Mr Howitt met teenagers and staff at the project in Huntingdon on Friday to present them with a European funding plaque to confirm they are going to stay up and running. He also helped them to drill it on to the wall. The project also operates in Peterborough and Wisbech.

The training is adapted for the teenagers according to their personal needs and can take the form of computer training, work placements, employability skills, sports or music training, parenting knowledge, information about drug, alcohol and substance abuse, or opportunities for volunteering in the community.

Mr Howitt said: "The Huntingdon teens involved here come from a variety of backgrounds and many have come into contact with the law. Nacro along with the help of European cash, is helping them to get their lives back on track.

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"These teens have been facing into the abyss with the threat that the cash was about to run dry but now, thanks to the work of the Cambridgeshire Learning and Skills Council, this great work can continue, and these young people can be supported in changing their lives for the better."

INFORMATION: The local branch of Nacro is based in Orchard House, Orchard Street. For more details about Youth Choices, which also operates in Peterborough and Wisbech, contact the project manager, Balwinder Gill on 01733 561596 or e-mail Balwinder.gill@nacro.org.uk

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