Benevolent Fund makes a grant to “free@last” charity on its 20th Anniversary.

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Philip Hall accompanied by Howard Smith ProvGCh Stwd, Rod Hinton ProvGAlm, David Satchwell President of the Warwickshire Royal Arch Benevolent Fund and David Mander Secretary to the Fund presented a cheque for £5225 on Thursday 26th September to John Street the CEO , director and founder of the “free@last” charity to pay for the equipment to fit out an entrepreneurial room including 3D printer, sewing machines, pottery wheel, cabinets, jewellery making tools, computer software etc.

John Street had impressed the team from the Benevolent Fund on an earlier visit with his enthusiasm and dedication to the ethos of the charity, which is to keep youth off the streets in the Nechells area of Birmingham. In so doing the intention is to create a culture which encourages young people away from gang culture, and the consequent risk of drugs involvement, self-harming, and sexual exploitation and crime.

The Grand Superintendent and his team experienced a tour of all the facilities to which the new workshop will be an addition. The charity already provides a gym, climbing wall , DJ studio, YouTube suite, and other community facilities, together with a special room designed to help train young people to be self-sufficient and to live alone – whether it be to cook, iron, wash etc. All these facilities are key factors in helping reduce child poverty so they can experience creativity and potentially earn their own money on new business projects or digital concepts.   This developmental approach has been shown to create self-confidence which is key to their development and helps assist them in making the right decisions for their life.

With the support and help from a National Lottery Grant John was able to get all the recent building work and improvements completed. There now stands a great community facility open to all which serves the local area and local schools. The new building is under the banner of a ‘Children, Youth and Community Centre’, and is a credit to the regeneration of the area.

The vision of the charity is to improve the lives of children and young people across the community of Nechells and help turn it from one where poverty and deprivation is rife into one of prosperity, ambition and opportunity.

A very worthy cause !