Relief and joy as donation keeps youth club full-time

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FAMILIES in Bilton are celebrating after a children’s club received a donation saving it from having to cut its hours.

‘Chillax’ was set up in February last year as a way of keeping 11 to 13-year-olds entertained and off the streets.

A shortfall in council funding meant managers were planning to halve its opening hours - but now an organisation has come to its aid with a grant allowing it to continue.

The news has come as a relief to Helen Ray, schools co-ordinator at Bilton Evangelical Church, which hosts the group. She said: “We needed someone to be there every single session every week.

“This funding has enabled us to employ a supervisor to attend both our weekly sessions for a year to support the volunteers and supervisors.”

The money - £1,170 - has come from housing association Affinity Sutton

Youngsters who attend the after-school drop-in club can do their homework, play games and receive confidential advice on personal problems.

One of its visitors, who has not been named, described Chillax as “the only place I feel listened to”.

Helen added: “There is nothing like Chillax for young children in Bilton. They love it because it’s free, accessible and inclusive. They’re not told what to do and they don’t have to conform to any standards.”

Anyone seeking funding for a community group can visit affinitysutton.com