Trowbridge Community Area Future (TCAF)

TCAF has been given a grant to cover staff costs for mentoring young people on the margins of education living in the town’s most deprived areas.

Youth and community development manager Meg Aubrey said it is supporting 50 young people who usually attend TCAFs youth clubs at Seymour, Longfield and Studley Green but are now at home, often living in difficult circumstances. Over Easter staff delivered education and wellbeing packs and Easter eggs.

She said: “Youngsters we work with have learning needs, have social services support, have behavioural issues or don’t attend school. The lockdown has been very difficult for them.

“We have produced a 12-page booklet and we also gave them Easter eggs. We often struggle to build relationships with parents because a high proportion of the young people have social workers or intervention through school, so they have a real concern about dealing with authority. But we have had messages from parents who are really grateful and that will help us build relationships for the future.”

Aside from games and suggestions for things to do, the packs also have details of TCAF’s mentoring scheme, set up to keep young people connected.

The charity has had to close the hub it usually runs in The Shires, which provides a warm welcome and a safe space for rough sleepers, older people, people with mental health issues. Ms Aubrey said: “We want to keep in touch with these people because we know they will be struggling.

“At the hub we have a community fridge where we distribute leftover food from supermarkets. What we are able to do through this funding is keep collecting the food from Lidl, Marks & Spencer and Aldi and offer the food to the people who come to the hub and other groups.We have been out delivering food parcels to people who need it, like The Haven homeless hostel and also other organisations. The grant has made a massive difference.”

Grant awarded: