OAYP gets grant for new community youth clubs

Young people in Oxfordshire are set to benefit from a lottery grant to set up 21 volunteer-run youth clubs in the county.

The Oxfordshire Association for Young People (OAYP) has been given £296,000 for the three-year project.

OAYP's county director, Paul Lawrence, said they would also use the money to expand their recreational services.

The Community Link-Up project will mainly target communities in isolated rural areas.

Mr Lawrence said: "At these times of cuts in the county council's services to youth clubs, it is fantastic to give these communities some good news - that OAYP will be on hand to help them develop appropriate and sustainable youth provision where they live."

No replacement

Youth workers across Oxfordshire held a one-day strike in August over public sector spending cuts.

They were campaigning against a new Early Intervention Service, created by merging the Youth Service and several other independent operations.

The Conservative-run county council said it would save about £4m but the Unite union said it could lead to the loss of 80 youth workers.

Mike Beal, youth worker and chair of the Oxfordshire branch of Unite, said OAYP's grant was great news for young people in Oxfordshire.

But added it would not replace professional youth workers who were being put under threat by the county council's reorganisation.

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