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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Youths thrive with Phoenix

THE Phoenix Youth Project (PYP) reflected on the past year and celebrated success at its AGM last week.

well done: With their certificates are (from left) Beth Mahone, Chloe McCarron, Billy-Joe Goodwin, Ellie Hewitt, Rhys Pritchard, Niamh Hedley, Jessica Jenkinson and Lewis Pritchard with (at back, left) Steven Butterworth, project chairman, and Paul Rowe, youth development officer

By Lucy Grosvenor

PYP has three centres – Cleator Moor, Frizington and Moor Row – providing after-school entertainment for youngsters aged eight to 19.

The AGM was held on the Birks Road site, Cleator Moor, and around 65 people attended, including the mayor and mayoress of Copeland, Geoff and Sandra Garrity, to join in with the celebrations.

These included certificate presentations to the young people who have gained Duke of Edinburgh or Youth Achievement Awards. There were also musical performances from some members.

PYP’s youth development officer, Paul Rowe, said: “Our meetings are meant to be fun. Yes, we have business to attend to but we like to focus on the success of the project and the young people involved.”

Gareth Douglas-Brown is Copeland Borough Council’s youth regeneration and development officer.

He said: “Without this project there would be no other provisions for young people that aren’t sports based.

“Paul is a great role model for the kids and promotes a social responsibility. The level of commitment staff show makes it a most successful youth project.”

With a Rewards For Action scheme, the PYP encourages young people to take part in community-based tasks such as litter picking or supermarket bag packing, and workshops teaching about life choices.

This earns them points that can be used for rewards for days out or residential trips.

All trips are free but members need to have done enough tasks to earn the points to attend.

For the last three years, the Copeland Community Fund has provided grants to the project totalling £60,000.

Team leader Heather Askew said: “This is a fantastic example of how a youth project should work. We are really pleased to fund the group and I enjoy seeing them grow and succeed.”

Paul added: “Today has been a great day, we are looking forward to another year of activities and pushing young people to achieve and broaden their horizons.

“It’s great to showcase what we have done and build on the success of our 10th year last year.”

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