It’s party time at Manchester’s oldest youth club and all are invited. Based in Moss Side, Hideaway Youth Project is throwing a big party on 4 July to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
With a community bash comprising of stalls, games, activities and refreshments, the day’s celebrations will commence at 11.00am. To commemorate the colourful journey it has taken the project to get here, there will be memories and personal experiences shared by people who’ve had anything to do with the project from 3.00pm to 5.00pm.
Naturally, the evening will conclude the day’s proceedings with music and food essentially turning up the energy of the event, between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. The centre intends to release a documentary comprising of footage shot from the day so look out for the final edit on the centre’s website.
It may seem like it has been all smiles and glee at the project but that is far from the truth. Whilst our government’s austerity measures led to the closure of over 350 youth clubs in the country, subsequently cutting over 2,000 jobs, Hideaway has “managed to hang on by the skin of their teeth”, Akemia Minott, Hideaway youth worker told TNT.
“We know we have limited resources and capacity but we carry on regardless almost becoming accustomed to it. It’s virtually impossible to ignore a need once it has been identified when you care about people and injustice”, Akemia added.
Another reason why the project stands today, is because it still does what it set out to do at its conception. However now, Hideaway Youth Project is dealing with Child Sexual Exploitation, Relationship Abuse, Institutional Racism, Youth Violence and much more.
Currently with 900 youngsters aged 11 to 25, the youth club is open five days a week and offers drop-in advice sessions that are mainly issue-based, such as ‘Stop and Search’ and poverty.
For this grassroots work to continue, funding is needed to pay for staff and activities at the centre. “We are constantly trying to get funding but with no success. I love this job but I can’t live on it. I can’t leave either because I love the children. I’m stuck, thanks to the government”, Akemia explained.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri