at least two jobs will be created and four more saved by a £240,000 boost for seven youth projects across the Borders, writes Kenny Paterson.
YouthBorders announced the cash injection from the Glasgow-based Robertson Trust, which will see a number of the schemes relaunched to cover wider areas and more young people under its Youth Work Futures project.
Five groups will receive £40,000 over two years – Ish’uze, based in Peebles, will now cover Tweeddale; Duns and Coldstream youth centres will become a Berwickshire organisation; Escape Youth Cafe in Hawick; a rebranded Galashiels-based youth project; and a Cheviot scheme for Kelso and Jedburgh. Two groups, Rowlands in Selkirk and an Earlston project, will receive £20,000 each for the next two years.
YouthBorders manager Bridie Ashrowan and its development co-ordinator Emma Liddell were behind the successful grant bid and Mrs Ashrowan said the shake-up was required to safeguard a number of the centre’s futures.
She said: “It was decided that the current youth project set-up across the Borders was unsustainable. We got together with the council to discuss the future and it was felt that the populations of the youth projects at present were too small.
“So YouthBorders and the council decided to put together a strategic policy to share these projects with more communities which will result in better services for young people.”
Mrs Ashrowan said the new set-up meant further funding had been secured from Scottish Borders Council (£106,000), The Rank Foundation (£100,000) and Scottish Borders LEADER programme (£45,812).
“Four jobs were at risk, but these have now been secured thanks to the funding, and at least two new jobs have been created,” she added.
“There will be an open-door policy in each centre which means any young person can come in and take part in a music project or seek advice about alcohol abuse, ” explained Mrs Ashrowan.