DESPITE falling short of their target at the end of a week’s fundraising push, staff at Xtrax youth centre believe they have succeeded in raising the profile of the charity.
The aim of the Xtrax Big Week, was to raise awareness, and also much-needed funds to keep the centre open.
Andrew Batsford, Xtrax project manager, is certain the Big Week fundraising push will be an annual event.
He said: “We have laid some serious foundations for next year, the generosity of the average person, and of businesses, has been quite touching.”
The target was £50,000, enough to keep the centre running for six months. So far they have raised just over £3,000, which will keep the breakfast club running for a year.
Events included a 7km conga through the town, the Mayor’s Challenge, which saw the Mayor and Xtrax mascot Mufti the Monkey, visit 15 primary schools in a single day, an eight-hour non-stop puppet show, and the coffee wars, which saw town centre giants Costa and Caffe Nero challenge customers to fetch a flag from the rival coffee house.
Staff, volunteers and the young people of Xtrax themselves have also been busy all week fundraising in any way they can, whether going out onto the streets, or bag-packing at the supermarket.
Mr Batsford said: “Before, we were one of the best kept secrets in Hastings, but now the community knows about us, which is lovely to see.
“The young people themselves, I can’t fault them for their energy, and commitment. They have proved to themselves that they are more than capable of doing anything if they put their minds to it.”
With winter approaching, the centre, based in Harold Place, is now focusing on providing essential support to the young people. Up to 45 meals are now being served every day, and the centre will be open on Christmas Day, with between 25 and 30 young people expected to attend.