09:00AM, Saturday 17 November 2018
A project which provides a ‘safe haven’ for Romanian gypsy children can keep running until the end of the year following a £500 donation from the Louis Baylis Trust.
The Slough-based Beehive Foundation won the funding as part of the latest round of donations by the Advertiser’s owner in July.
The money will be used to support the foundation’s weekly evening classes at the Chalvey Community Centre which aim to give Romanian gypsy children in the area an alternative to wandering the streets at night.
Clare Johnson-Alem, manager of the Beehive Foundation, said: “We have a very large number of Romanian gypsy children that have nowhere to go in the evenings.
“The project just gives them a safe haven to come and do some arts and crafts and meet people from other communities in the area.”
Up to 25 youngsters attend the classes each Wednesday, with children from both the Somali and wider Chalvey community mixing together.
As well as arts and crafts, children aged four to 11 are also taught valuable life skills including how to keep themselves safe when crossing roads late at night.
Clare, who lives in Cippenham, added: “There’s been a high rise in the number of children being hit crossing the roads in Slough just because it’s such a heavily populated area.
“We try and imbed some life skills and teach them how to act in the community.”
The foundation, which also works with Youth Engagement Slough and Aik Saath, launched in 2010 with the aim of promoting social inclusion among children and young people who are excluded by society. It remains on the lookout for further funding to continue its outreach work.
“Because we’re such a small organisation, little grants that may be overlooked by other groups actually make a massive difference to the work we do,” Clare added.
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