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Toothill youth group's glittering event for disadvantaged kids
A YOUTH group which caters for a large number of children from deprived backgrounds is among the good causes standing to benefit from this year’s Charity Ball.
Toothill Junior Youth Club, which is based at The Farmhouse, in Bodiam Drive, will use the money to provide new activities, including sculpture classes.
This year’s fundraiser, entitled The Glitter Ball, will raise funds for a total of five good causes when it takes place at the Marriott in Old Town on May 11.
Denis Mackie, the chairman of the charity, said: “We’re in an area which has been identified as an area of deprivation by various people and agencies.
“Some of the measures of academic achievements of children in the schools here has shown they are not as high as they should be.
“So, if we can get them using their hands, brains and communication skills together with artistic work it might help them to get ahead.
“We also have a youth homework room with a teacher on the staff who is happy to go in on Tuesday and Friday nights and help young people.
“It’s about doing things differently from normal youth clubs, although we have a normal youth club running in tandem with it.”
The junior youth club, which caters for young people aged between five and 15, started in 1991 and also offers cookery, computing, crafts and games and the occasional disco.
The charity has four part-time paid workers and five volunteer trustees.
The Charity Ball cash will go towards sprucing up a barn-style building and a garden by the farmhouse to free up space to be used for activities, including sculpture.
Mr Mackie said: “We are going to tidy up and put lots of shelves in there so we can shrink the rubbish and have a nice area where we can put a small wall up to separate us from the storage space.
“We are going to add a table, a bench, some tools and we will use the garden in the summer.
“It gives us another dimension and will be something completely different.
“I’ve spoken to the children and they would love to do it.
“We’ve got some ideas of the things we would like to make and we will use some of the money for materials for these sculptures.”
A large percentage of the young people come from broken homes or from disadvantaged families, and the club wants to give them the same opportunities as their peers.
Mr Mackie said: “I’m thrilled to get the funding.
“I’ve wanted to sort the barn out for a long time.
“In the summer if we can get the sculpture going with the kids it can be an ongoing part of the club.”