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The Phoenix Youth Project's Fifteenth AGM

The Phoenix Youth Project AGM was attended by almost 80 young people, parents, community members, councillors, partner organisations and several of the project's funders. It was a great fun event that celebrated the last twelve months of the project and its achievements. Young people collected awards and certificates for their hard work throughout the past year, they helped to run the event and even performed for those in attendance. The highlight of the event was twofold, the sheer number of people in attendance and the four Phoenix Has Talent performances.

The meeting started with a buffet lunch and ended with a fun quiz. Paul Rowe, Project Manager said the AGM was a great way to celebrate our fifteenth year as a project; we had so many people attending this year that we ran out of seats. He praised the hard work and achievements of the young people who had helped to run the event and who collected awards and certificates on the day as well as the staff volunteers and trustees of the project. Members from our younger group sang and danced to showcase their talents. Ruby Haile, sang Taylor Swift - Love Story; Kendra & Lily sang Ed Sheeran - Perfect, Connor, Ben, Nate & Josh danced the Swish Swish dance and finally Georgia Herbert - sang Celine Dion - my heart will go on.

Awards were given out on the day for the young people who took part in the Phoenix has talent even and for the accredited awards gained throughout the last year. There were over 50 different awards and certificates presented. These included the Duke of Edinburgh Award and ASDAN awards. The final award presented was the Phoenix Youth Project Youth Club Member of the Year, which is a new award, in its second year, in the honour and memory of a founding trustee, Sheila Graham. A Shield was presented to joint winners Emily Dixon and Jessica Redden who were also Moor Row's Youth Club Members of the year and also the overall project's youth club member of the year. Runner ups to the award were Shannon Cherry (Cleator Moor) and Megan Graham (Frizington) who were both awarded as youth club members of their youth clubs.

Paul Rowe, Project Manager said that the memorial award is a great way to commemorate and remember such a remarkable woman as Sheila who gave so much time to help others and equally to promote and say thank you to young people for their hard work and efforts to support their youth clubs. Emily and Jess has volunteered in their youth club for their ASDAN Award, like both Megan and Shannon did too. Joanne Pears, Lead Youth Development Worker said about Jess and Emily that 'I couldn't run the younger session without them, from September to December there was just me and the girls so I would like to say a big thank you to them as without them I could not have ran the junior session.' Whilst where on that subject we are looking for local community volunteers to help us with the running of Moor Row Youth Centre.

The Phoenix Youth Project's Summer of Fun

This summer The Phoenix Youth Project has had a summer full of activities for its young people. They have been on a four day residential to London, trips to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, South Lakes Safari Zoo and Rookin House. They also ran our annual Fun For All Day in August, completed a Duke of Edinburgh expedition had two big Friday's where young people enjoyed bouncy boxing and a pole joust.

All of these activities were run as part of the Rewards for Action scheme that the project delivers. Rewards for Actions is an innovative project which aims to increase the community involvement of young people in the areas they live. This is achieved through young people participating in community tasks, workshops and accredited awards to gain points which can be 'traded in' to attend trips, activities and residential visits. All of the trips are free of charge and each young person needs to gain a community task and a set amount of points for each trip. The highlight of the summer was taking 16 young people to London for a four day residential. We soaked up the sights and sounds of the City throughout and the only downside was not having more time. This trip was funded by Bendals and helped us to link up with Well North and St Paul's Way Science Summer School. The Science School was headed up by Professor Brian Cox and involved a day and evening of Science talks, workshops and discussions. The young people found this very stimulating. The learning here was backed up by a visit the next morning to the Science Museum. We also visited London Dungeons, Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, went to see The Lion King at the theatre which was brilliant and all enjoyed. We also had a guided tour of the Houses Of Parliament which was very interesting. On the last day we went shopping down Regent and Oxford Street which all the young people enjoyed. The fun day was a great day and the local community came out on force with over 450 people attending the day. Many exciting activities were on offer for the event including the popular Miami Fair Ride. As well as numerous inflatable rides such as Bouncing Boxing, Bungee Eliminator, Obstacle Course, Combo Bouncy Castles and Slide. We had fantastic singing performances from our very own signing star Zoe Warren, along with Lee Shackley and Amy and Louisa Morton. Other fun activities on included a Climbing Wall, Rodeo Bull, giant pop-up cinema, tombola, raffles and various stalls such as Tin-Can Alley, Basket Ball Shoot Out, bean bag toss and Hook a Duck.

Our younger group enjoyed the South Lakes Safari Zoo trip and the close interaction with the animals, especially the lamia's. It was the first time many of the group had been to zoo and had seen a wide range of exotic animals. Other than the London Residential the older group enjoyed horse riding, human bowling and the argo kart at Rookin House. The summer ended with a trip for both age groups at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This was a great fun way to wrap up a summer of activities and signing off for the summer.

The Phoenix Youth Project's Fun Day Supported by BEC

The Phoenix Youth Project successfully ran their 11th annual Fun Day supported by BEC on Saturday 19th August 2017, 1pm - 5pm on Cleator Moor Square and Cleator Moor Masonic and Civic Centre. It was great to see the local community out on force and all from the very young to the older members of our community attended the day and had great fun. The weather held and the rain stayed away despite the threatening skies. The event was attended by over 400 different people and it was great to see a smile on everyone's face through the afternoon. The event for the third year in a row had a small entrance charge as we are aiming to make the event self-sufficient otherwise we would lose the event.

The aim of the day was to provide a fun day for the entire community of all ages to socially mix and is a great opportunity to break down those intergenerational barriers that exist between the younger and elderly members from the community. Paul Rowe, Project Manager of The Phoenix Youth Project said that 'this is the biggest event that happens in Cleator Moor and once again the day couldn’t have gone any better. There were hundreds of children, young people and families all with smiles on their faces throughout the event.' In short the day was a huge success with everyone commenting on how brilliant the day was and how great the atmosphere was.

Many exciting activities were on offer throughout the day including the popular Miami Fair Ride. As well as numerous inflatable rides such as Human Gyroscope, Bouncing Boxing, Bungee Eliminator, Obstacle Course, Combo Bouncy Castles and Slide, Penalty Shootout. Other fun activities included a Climbing Wall, Rodeo Bull, Face Paiting and various stalls such as Basket Ball Shoot out, Tin Can Alley, bag bean throwing and Hook a Duck. Inspira kindly provided their giant mobile cinema showing children's films throughout the afternoon, Darling Manor also brought Rapunzel to the event to provide princess make up. The young people that attend The Phoenix Youth Project also helped to run and organise the event and thus be seen in a positive light by all.

This year's event was supported and funded by Britain's Energy Coast (£1,500), Cleator Moor Town Team (£750), Nisa (£500), Billy Morley (£250) and Rullion (£200). Without their generous financial support, the event would not be able to take place.

There were efforts by The Phoenix Youth Project to raise money on the day, and in total just over £2,240 was raised. The young people that attend youth clubs in Cleator Moor and Frizington helped to run and organise the event. This event could not have happened without support from our fantastic staff, trustees, young people, numerous volunteers who were fantastic on and before the day and must importantly the events funders. There are too many to name you all but thank you for your support. Finally, a thank you to everyone who attended the event and helped us create such a fun packed day for all.

Exciting times ahead for Phoenix

We all know about the cuts that have been made by central government year by year. It's almost a daily headline to hear about a service that's at risk of been closed down or been lost due to spending cuts. The Phoenix Youth Project is no different. Every year since the recession there are less funders to support charities and much less money around. However, our story is very different we have never had to reduce our services or offer to our young people and communities. In fact, we continue to strive despite this backdrop.

We have just found out this week that we have been successful in gaining £60,000 from The Henry Smith Charity. This adds to £60,000 we gained in February from BBC Children in Need. Both of these grants are to be spent over the next three years and really help to sustain the future of the project. They mean that we are fully funded for the next twelve months and part funded for the two years after that. In total we have secured over £120,00 for the next twelve months and with this we aim to work with over 500 different young people across our three youth centres in Cleator Moor, Frizington and Moor Row. We can also announce the date for this year's Fun For All Day on Cleator Moor market square and Civic Hall. This will take place on Saturday 13th August 2016 and we are well underway in planning a great event once again for the local community.

Paul Rowe, Project Manager of The Phoenix Youth Project said, 'It's fantastic news to hear that we were have been successful with our fundraising efforts once again. National funders such as Henry Smith and BBC Children in Need are much more difficult to gain than more local funders and show the great range of services that we offer to our children and young people. Now we have secured these funds we can concentrate on the fun part, spending the money on great and fun activities for our young people'. Our project is currently funded from various sources for this next year. These include the grants from The Henry Smith Charity and BBC Children in Need along with funding from Copeland Community Fund (£20,000), NMP Fund through Cumbria Community Foundation (£15,000), FNP funded by Copeland Community Fund (£11,040), FCSCT (£10,000), Home Group (£10,000), Cleator Moor Town Council (£6,000), Frizington Parish Council (£3,000), Hadfield Charitable Trust (£3,000), Nuvia (£2,000) and Egremont Town Council (£1,000). Several of these funds come to end in twelve months' time and we now begin the process of funding for the future.