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Grant to develop domestic abuse centre for young people

The Clearstone Trust in North Camp has been granted funds to set up a centre to help youngsters affected by domestic abuse

Clearstone Trust volunteers at work at their new base

A charity in Farnborough has received a grant of £26,000 to help develop a centre for young people who are affected by domestic abuse.

The Clearstone Trust, based in North Camp, works with vulnerable people up to the age of 21 who are affected by domestic abuse, mental health issues and trauma.

The charity has taken on a new lease on the building in Lynchford Road, which they plan to turn in to a training centre, to help develop young people’s skills so they can secure employment, tackle social issues and make the most of their spare leisure time.

Rushmoor Borough Council’s cabinet awarded a grant to the charity at a meeting on January 7.

Deputy leader Councillor Roland Dibbs said the motion was supported by all members of the cabinet.

The new centre will provide a café area, book and gift shop and a meeting space along with separate access, which can be used as accommodation for young people who wish to leave home and become more independent.

Young people will also be able to volunteer in the café at the centre to help them gain work experience.

The charity currently relies on grants from Hampshire County Council, however, they hope to become more self-sufficient and sustain their services.

Jan Sheehan, manager of Clearstone Trust, said: “It is wonderful news, we are delighted.

“We are creating the centre as a direct result of a consultation with young people that were working with us.

“This is what they wanted so it is great that we have empowered young people and enabled them to make decisions.”

Mrs Sheehan said the charity would have planned to open the centre if the funding was not approved, but it would have taken them much longer to set up.

She said: “The centre will give some of the young people we work with the opportunity to become trustees of the charity and we can provide them AQA and NVQ qualifications so it is great we can give people these national accreditations.”

The new training centre, which the charity hope to open at Easter, will attract a steady income helping the trust to provide a more viable service and be able to deliver one-to-one crisis support, accredited training, education work and focused workshops. After forming in 2011, the trust has supported 146 young people and 30 adults in the area. In order to provide the grant to the Clearstone Trust, the council has had to vary its capital budget, which will cause a loss in interest of £500 per year.

In a report on the charity’s application for the grant, Peter Amies, head of community for the council, said: “There is a risk that, as Clearstone does not have any reserves and if they do not achieve their revenue projections, they may fold, with the capital grant given by this council not able to support its intended purpose. However, if the potential loss of current grants cannot be secured from other sources, Clearstone would cease, which would have a significant impact on the quality of life of some of our most vulnerable young residents.”

Hampshire County Council will reduce the grants given to Clearstone from £50,000 to £20,000 because of its improved sustainability.

 
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