A youth charity in Stowmarket has been awarded a significant grant as part of a major national programme to support their work and expand their services.
The Mix, located on Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, has secured a grant of £150,000 from the Youth Investment Fund, which is a joint fund between central government and the Big Lottery.
Dave Hannah, operations manager, said: “This is a real vote of confidence in The Mix, and recognises our role as one of the leading young people’s charities in the county.
“The advantage of having funding over three years is that we can lay the foundations now and plan to build on them in the future.”
The money will be used towards developing a new three-year programme to make a bigger difference in the community.
It will go towards the upkeep of their premises in Stowmarket, as well as funding more staff and longer opening hours.
It will also enable the charity to reach a larger group of people and support them in different ways.
Neil Serjeant, the company’s chief executive, said: “We recognise that some young people come into a centre like us and some young people don’t. We are therefore starting work in Stowmarket High School, providing an inhouse coach two days a week.
“Young people can then refer themselves to the coach or staff can do it. It just gives that extra support that teachers aren’t trained to deal with and don’t have time to deal with.”
The Youth Investment Fund has already inspired changes within the charity after encouraging and enabling them to open on Saturday mornings.
But the charity see this money as an opportunity to improve further and hope to reach out to and partner with other organisations to make their service as useful and far-reaching as possible.
“By the end of this three-year plan, we will be benefitting the wider community, not just young people,” said Mr Serjeant.
The Mix was established in 2012 and works to support young people and help them discover their true value and build their best future.