Herefordshire Community Foundation & Hereford Times launch Christmas Appeal

Meet the team from Close House who help young people in Herefordshire to become mature, be helpful and grow hungry for a full life.

Young people in Herefordshire seem to be facing more challenges than ever.

Some are still deeply affected by the Covid pandemic, during which schools were closed, medical services restricted and the routines of the most vulnerable disrupted.

Hereford Times knows that many of its readers share these concerns. That is why they were keen to lend our support to a charity that specifically helps young people.

They have partnered with us in this appeal, as we aim to build stronger communities in Herefordshire. We give grants to worthy causes and individuals, using funds donated by local residents, families and businesses and also administer grant-making programmes on behalf of Herefordshire Council, the Government and other funding bodies.

Close House is a youth centre just off Commercial Street in Hereford that helps those aged between 11 and 24 to become more mature and develop skills to lead full lives.

The charity aims to break cycles of negative experiences and behaviour that some young people face, instead enabling them to find more control over the direction their lives take. It aims to bring hope and aspiration to those who are vulnerable, disadvantaged or socially excluded.

Many of the people it works with experience homelessness, childhood abuse, mental illness, or substance misuse, and some have minor criminal records and are not in education or employment.

It supports these young people with safe, supportive, and inspiring projects and activities that encourage them to grow.

Ben Lea, Close House manager, said: “We give young people space to grow on their own terms, so that they can navigate their own feelings and emotions. We do this best through our sessions where we focus on work-readiness, help with school tensions and self-esteem, and explore the creative arts and community volunteering. The Hereford Times Christmas Appeal will pay for activities, workshops, and trips for our young people throughout the year.”

To donate to the Hereford Times Christmas Appeal please donate online or send a cheque to Herefordshire Community Foundation. Please give only what you can afford.

The appeal will remain open until December 31, 2023.