The Foxton Centre is enjoying a reversal in fortunes

The Foxton Centre is enjoying a reversal in fortunes after securing funds for a brand-new service. The centre will deliver the Preston pilot for Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM), a scheme designed to help people facing multiple problems including homelessness, substance abuse, contact with the criminal justice system and mental ill health.

The success comes after the Foxton a worrying few weeks struggling to secure funding for Streetlink, its street sex worker support service.

Jeff Marsh, Chief Executive Officer at the Foxton Centre said, “We found out our Streetlink Lottery funding wouldn’t be renewed at the last minute, so it looked like the service would have to close down. But we’re due to celebrate Streetlink’s 20th anniversary this year, and I thought, ‘I can’t let this happen on my watch’.

“After a lot of discussion with local partner agencies, the City Council and the County Council, we’ve managed to secure 12 months of funding, which will give us chance to make longer-term plans.

“So in the space of four weeks, we’ve gone from thinking we would lose our three Streetlink employees to needing to recruit for two new MEAM roles.”

The Foxton Centre has experienced an extremely busy winter period trying to meet the needs of the city’s homeless community. “During the extreme weather we had in March the Foxton was open 24 hours a day for 10 dys in a row” We provided emergency accommodation for 28 rough sleepers during that period keeping them off the freezing cold streets” Since then we have worked with people to sort longer term solutions to their difficulties.  “We received great support from the local community but always need more help “

The Assertive Outreach team engage with rough sleepers. Pic: The Foxton Centre

Meanwhile, the youth support arm of the Foxton, Youthlink, has an exciting time ahead after receiving bumper funding.

Last year’s Children In Need award was twice the amount received previously, and a recent crowdfunding effort that raised £9,500 will be doubled through Comic Relief match-funding.

The main focus will be on transforming Smiths recreational ground in Frenchwood into an exciting place for kids to have fun and be active. Bug hotels, wildlife and a compost heap will all feature, as will an outdoor kitchen including a barbecue, pizza oven and tandoori oven.

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