12:55PM, Friday 02 May 2014
A youth group for people with low self-esteem is overjoyed after winning a £2,500 grant to help it convert an old barn into a teaching space.
The grant was awarded to the Esteem Seniors through the Royal Borough's youth voice youth choice scheme, which invited the public to vote online for their favourite community project.
She studied animal management at BCA College in Hall Place, Burchetts Green and is enthusiastic about the positive impact of the sanctuary on people like herself who suffer with severely low confidence.
"Some people are unable to experience the outdoors as well as others and panic when they’re in busy places," she said.
"But the sanctuary helps people build up their confidence slowly."
"It also helps in the long run because people learn basic skills and instead of feeling like they can’t do anything, they realise that they can do something."
The money will go towards re-flooring the building, ensuring the facility is safe for young children, setting up whiteboards, and buying tables so the animals can be handled.
The plan is also to renovate its kitchen so young people can have warm food and drinks.
Volunteer at the animal sanctuary Sara Ross said: "The barn will be fantastic because it will make it a proper educational establishment and raise the standard."
"Coming here is a therapy for a lot of people and we notice their general demeanour improves.
"They help the animals and the animals help them."
The centre has been running since June 2012 and is waiting on retrospective planning permission from South Bucks District Council for its buildings.
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