A SUCCESSFUL community skills training group has received an £10k donation to continue its work.

The ASPIRE project, now in its 10th year, has been boosted by the donation from an anonymous source. It follows a donation of £15,000 from another source, also preferring to remain anonymous, in 2017, and a £12,000 anonymous donation the year before that.

ASPIRE’s volunteer manager, Arthur Woodgate, said: “This is wonderful and enables us to continue our work within the Sir John Colfox Academy for a further year. I believe this sort of thoughtful generosity is prompted by the very effective support work carried out by our project co-ordinator, Charlotte Storey. The results are plain to see.”

Nick Preston, inclusion manager at Colfox, said: “The impact is tremendous. Charlotte's coaching and counselling of our vulnerable young people, positivity and nurturing approach has developed a safe environment for young people to explore their own thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The work could be life changing and certainly will improve their life chances. Thank you.”

Mr Preston's praise was echoed by Colfox headteacher, David Herbert.

“Charlotte, via ASPIRE, is enabling us to provide a better deal for our students,” said Mr Herbert. “There is clear evidence that Charlotte’s work has helped to increase the attendance of the students she has worked with, reduced their likelihood of exclusion from school and ultimately helping to prevent them becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).”

ASPIRE operates under the voluntary company BEST (Bridport Enterprise Supporting Training). In partnership with local charity BYPAT (Bridport Young Persons Action Trust), a free programme of support is offered to young people experiencing mental health issues.

Further partnerships are currently being developed in order to enable the work to be extended to others in need of support.

For more information, contact a.c.woodgate@btinternet.com or phone 01308 423767.