Appeal for help from business community as huge chunk of funding for Burnley and Padiham Youth Bus cut

Vital funding for a service, that helps to support thousands of children and young people, has been stopped.

News that the annual £33,000 grant from Children in Need would no longer be awarded comes just two months after the Burnley and Padiham Youth Bus went back on the road since the start of the pandemic.

The loss of the grant means the bus may only be able to operate for two nights instead of four, which will have a significant impact on the communities it serves.

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Lynne Blackburn who is the director and project manager for Participation Works NW, which runs the bus, said: "We have been lucky enough to receive this grant from Children in Need for the past 12 years. It has made such a huge difference to the services we offer and we are really grateful for the help they have given us over the years.

News that £33,000 worth of funding for the Burnley and Padiham Youth Bus has been stopped comes just two months after it was back on the road after Covid-19

"But there is so much competition from so many other projects that this year we have lost out.

"We realise that £33,000 is a great deal of money for one company or business to donate but if we could ask a few to help us out it would be great. £900 would cover our internet bill for the year."

Other sources of funding for the bus come from the Big Lottery Fund and the Calico group.

The project is aimed at young people from the age of seven to 20 and, since its launch 14 years ago, has supported thousands.

The distinctive youth bus has been helping and supporting young people across Burnley and Pendle for 14 years

Run with a team of youth workers the project had to go on hold due to the pandemic but the team continued to go out doing detached youth work and online workshops to support young people.

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Operating from a specially converted double decker bus, it is often referred to as the space bus. It offers a range of services, from helping children with their homework and college assignments to working with young adults looking for jobs. It is a free place for young people to ‘hop on’ and access the facilities four nights a week.

The bus was given a civic re-launch in August when a special red carpet event was held and special guests included Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham, the Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley Coun. Mark Townsend and his wife Kerry.

Lynne added: "We are very much about promoting opportunities for young people in Burnley so that goes hand in hand with the many successful businesses we have here.

"We just hope they will be willing to help us keep the bus on the road for four nights a week and in return for their sponsorship we are happy to promote and advertise their company on the side of the bus."

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Anyone who would like to help the project is asked to get in touch with Lynne by ringing her on 07834595165 or email her at [email protected]