Monday, 27 September 2021

Challenging year for support group

A YOUTH and community project in Henley made more than 2,300 interventions involving substance misuse in

A YOUTH and community project in Henley made more than 2,300 interventions involving substance misuse in a year.

The figure was revealed at the annual meeting of Nomad, a charity which supports children, young people and families facing challenges.

Tim Prior, who manages the youth and family team, said the project had made more than 5,200 interventions in the year to March 31.

Of these, just over a quarter involved people with a direct involvement with substance misuse and 19 per cent with an indirect involvement, such as a family member with a history of substance misuse.

“It has been another busy year and another challenging year,” he said. “We would struggle to do a lot of the work we do if we didn’t have volunteers who give up their time to support us.”

He outlined Nomad’s work, which included mentoring more than 30 students at Gillott School with a life skills programme, supporting school attendance and home visits.

The project’s family support work included one-to-one parent support, a parenting course, a young mothers’ group and targeted holiday activities.

After-school projects included a youth club at the Henley YMCA pavilion, targeted youth groups and football clubs.

Its community work featured a reading, literacy and numeracy project, the Lighthouse food bank, community events and fun days.

Almost 250 food parcels were distributed during the year and 100 Christmas food parcels are expected to be delivered this year. Treasurer Dave Prior, who is Tim Prior’s father, said Nomad had a good year  financially.

Total income was £131,192, which was slightly down on the previous year, while total expenditure was £127,246, which was almost £27,000 less than the previous year.

Mr Prior said the decrease in expenditure was “in many ways good news”.

He said: “We had one member who left the team, another member who had been part-time and said ‘I’d like to go self-employed’ and reduce her hours and we’ve reduced the amount of accommodation in this office.”

The project received a £25,000 grant from South Oxfordshire District Council, £10,000 from Henley Town Council and £12,500 from the Henley Educational Trust towards a salary.

Last month it received a donation of £50,000 from the Thamesfield Youth Association following the sale of the former Henley Youth Centre site, which will go towards paying for a new youth worker for two years, starting in January.

The meeting heard that one-off gifts also came from trusts, companies and individuals. Mr Prior said it was encouraging to see funds coming in from businesses in the town as it showed they recognised Nomad as a vital part of the community.

Chris Ward, a member of Nomad’s advisory group, said a boxing night held at Henley town hall last month and a 100km sponsored bicycle ride in September both raised about £3,500.

Two nights of this year’s Living Advent Calendar — December 7 and 20 — will be held at the d:two centre, where Nomad is based, and the project is also the nominated charity of the annual choir festival to be held next month.

A 10-mile sponsored walk around the Chilterns and along the Thames Path is due to held in May or June and the bike ride and the boxing event will be repeated next year.

More News:

POLL: Have your say