A charity that helps transform the lives of vulnerable young people in Hastings was visited by the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) this week.
Katy Bourne attended Xtrax to present a cheque for £25,000 from her Safer in Sussex Community Fund, which awards grants to organisations that provide a positive and lasting impact on the local community.
Xtrax offers diversionary and support services to young people ‘at risk’ of offending, or who undertake risky behaviours such as drug use which make them vulnerable to exploitation by those engaged in criminal behaviour.
Mrs Bourne said: “Young people matter, they are our future. That is why a young people’s ‘drop-in’ centre like Xtrax is so important because it offers a lifeline in times of need and somewhere for young people to go, share experiences and get vital help. Spending time with these young people and hearing their background stories and why they thrive on being able to have somewhere to go three evenings a week for socialising, advice, a hot meal, shower or to wash their clothes, was very inspiring.
“I also had the pleasure of speaking to some of the wonderful staff, volunteers and trustees who help reach out to many of these marginalised young people.
“They really do understand their complexities and needs and the dedication from everyone to building a safer community is truly humbling.”
Ian Gallagher, senior project coordinator for Xtrax, said: “We were delighted that the PCC was able to visit our young people’s centre and see first-hand how her grant will be used to help and support young people, some of whom are on the edge of criminality or carrying out risky behaviours. As a small charity we rely on grant funding and close partnership work with local statutory organisations and charities including The Prince’s Trust.
“The grant from the PCC will enable us to continue supporting young people to achieve their true potential and feel a sense of value both in themselves and as part of the wider community.
“If you would like to donate or volunteer, contact service manager Jo Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to hear from you.”