Community club celebrates after windfall from Big Lottery Fund

Members of Dawdon's Youth Hub celebrate the cash grant from the Big Lottery, securing its future for three years.
Members of Dawdon's Youth Hub celebrate the cash grant from the Big Lottery, securing its future for three years.
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A community club which was facing closure turned its farewell party into a celebration after its future was secured with just days to go.

Dawdon’s Youth Hub was set to shut down this week and its leaders were devastated as they faced closing down the sessions they had spend years building up.

This really has saved the day.

Joanne Bowen

They also had to deliver the sad news to its 190 members, who are aged from seven to 18.

The last evening was due to be held on Wednesday, but the team was told the news the Big Lottery had given it £185,415, which will ensure it runs for another three years.

The cash will help it offer emotional support sessions, as well as help to parents, working with youngsters who suffer from depression, anxiety, isolation and those who self-harm, with coping mechanisms taught through the group.

The organisation, which grew out of Dawdon Community Centre’s Adventure Club, and is based at the venue in Queen Alexander Road, will also work on plans to make it self-sufficient, so its long-term work can be guaranteed.

Joanne Bowen, youth and play development worker, said: “We had basically come up with an exit strategy and we said we wanted to go out on a high, which the club deserved after all it achieved.

“When we heard about the cash, we couldn’t believe it, we’re just so happy.

“This really has saved the day.”

The club also teaches the dangers of alcohol and drugs, cookery sessions and also runs a holiday club.

It is also supported by the County Durham Community Foundation, the Woodward Charitable Trust, East Durham Area Partnership and East Durham Trust.