September deadline for £40,000 cash injection
A PIONEERING project that helps disabled young people in one of the poorest parts of Birmingham is facing closure because of lack of money.
Inclusion Connect has been changing the lives of disabled youngsters in the Washwood Heath area for the past four years but all of this will stop unless £40,000 can be raised by September.
More than 60 young people aged between 11 and 25 years are currently benefiting from the scheme that provides activities including sport, drama, discussions, arts and craft, residentials, trips and outings.
The scheme based at the Naseby Centre also provides advice for parents and careers about benefits and other help as well as providing much needed respite. At the end of September, the City Council Youth Service will withdraw its funding for the project although help in kind including free use of the Naseby Centre and management support will continue.
“What we are doing is a real lifeline for these young people and their families. There really is nothing else for them to do and so many of these youngsters will have to return to a life of exclusion behind closed doors,” said project leader Shamaila Parveen.
“This project is the only one of its kind in the West Midlands and is showing a way forward that has the potential to be rolled out in other parts of the city and further a field. We are working in one of the most deprived parts of Birmingham amongst a community where disability is too often seen as a stigma and resources are in very short supply.
A local community management group has been formed in a last ditch attempt to raise the necessary funding including a number of street collections planned during the summer.
“We want to involve as many people as possible but the kind of money needed will have to come from a major charitable donation and business,” added Shamaila Parveen.
Farook Ahmed, Manager of Naseby Youth Centre and Neighbourhood Youth Work said the work of Inclusion Connect was valued by the City Council but further funding was no longer available.
“We will be working as hard as we can to save this project and want to hear from anyone you can help us get the funds that are needed,” added Farook Ahmed.
If you would like to help you can call Farook or Shamaila on 0121-464-5044 or 0121-464-5054