Families 'devastated' at closure of group for Rugby kids with emotional problems - The Rugby Observer

Families 'devastated' at closure of group for Rugby kids with emotional problems

FAMILIES have been left ‘devastated’ after a community group was forced to close due to lack of funding.

The Sharp Minds Group – which met on a weekly basis at Hill Street Youth and Community Centre in Rugby town centre – has closed down after failing to attract enough funding.

It offered support and activities to children and young people with emotional problems.

Aside from attending school, the meetings represented the only time many group members would leave the house.




Youth worker Alasdair McCarrick told the Observer: “Many parents have been left devastated, they really felt their children opened up to us when they often would not speak to anyone else.

“For some it was the only support they would access due to lack of confidence. We gave people a trusted relationship and on their terms.


“Young people who have problems and no one to talk to can sometimes take things into their own hands, which can have devastating consequences.”

Sharp Minds holds successful groups across the rest of Warwickshire, with funding coming from grants and support from businesses.

But organisers were disappointed when their sessions in Rugby – which are overseen by charity Young People First – failed to attract enough investment after they opened last April.

They still hope to reopen their group if they can obtain funding, and say they will offer one-to-one support sessions in the meantime.

Alasdair added: “The Rugby group was based on an unidentified need after other services in the town saw the work we were doing in other areas across the county.

“The view was that we would set up the project and hope for funding from grants and support from businesses. We thought we could get funding but sadly we could not achieve this. It has been a bit of a battle.

“We are hoping people will see how worthwhile the service is and want to support us.

“We wanted and still want to help people in the long term.”

Group organisers say one positive has come despite its closure – two of the young people who were socially isolated have since befriended one another and now talk and go out together.

Email [email protected] to find out more about supporting the group.

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