YOUNGSTERS are celebrating after their youth centre secured a £50,000 lifeline to keep it afloat.
The Youth Almighty Project (YAP) has received the lottery windfall, which was dished out to help organisations battling against funding cuts, to ensure its doors stay open.
The Big Lottery Fund handed over £48,740, which means the project, which provides activities for young people living in the Silksworth area, can employ three additional staff.
The money also means the project can expand to offer employment advice and support to youngsters who are unemployed and on the hunt for work.
Phil Tye, volunteer and YAP chairman, said: “It’s fantastic news.
“We have been working flat out over recent months to secure additional funding to safeguard the services and sessions we currently offer to young people.
“This award will allow us to continue this level of provision but will also allow the project to plan for the future.
“The organisation will now be able to carry out a full review of the provision with a view to providing additional support to the most needing young people affected by the economic climate, including employment advice and support.”
The cash is part of a Big Lottery Fund initiative that aims to help good causes cope with public funding cuts.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimates that voluntary and community groups will see public funding cuts of up to £3.3billion by 2015.
James Turner, head of the Big Lottery Fund in the North East, said: “The Big Lottery Fund is only too aware of the increasing pressures facing organisations as the full effect of public funding cuts comes to bear across the region.
“This funding provides a lifeline to our grant-holders as they struggle to provide crucial services to thousands of vulnerable and disadvantaged people.”
YAP, which is based in Tunstall Village Road, prides itself on being a project that is run by young people with the support of youth workers.
It offers a series of sessions for young people living in the area, as well as taking youngsters on a range of outdoor activities.