Catch Them Young participants are considering a protest March on Walsall Borough Council after it pulled funding from the project.
The decision has left Roy Russell and two other full time staff devastated. They gave up their jobs to help problem youngsters through the scheme two years ago and are now unemployed.
But Roy’s not letting things lie, and has already received assurances from Gordan Brown’s and David Cameron’s offices that the decision to pull £60,000 worth of funding ‘will be looked into’.
Meanwhile, Roy is trying to set up a meeting with council official Clive Wright to show him just how much good the project, which until two weeks ago was helping 50 youngsters, is doing.
“We have been told the funding was just for two years and that it’s now run out, but if that had been the case we would not have give up our jobs and the Environment Agency would not have spent £40,000 on fisheries work to help us,” explained Roy.
“The project has been a fantastic success with the seven schools we work with, the police and the kids involved, who are devastated.
The youngsters have found ‘direction’ through the Catch Them Young project, but funding has been pulle
|Care for the environment and fish care are among the lessons learnt by the 50 youngsters who were working towards accreditation.|
“Catch Them Young has given these youngsters a purpose,” he continued. “We teach them not just about angling and the environment but there are also important social classes such as showing them the danger of drugs. It’s given kids who have had terrible problems at home direction and the first step on a ladder to a career in the environment or fisheries through attaining a Youth Achievement Award accreditation.
“The schools have been overwhelmed by the improvement in their behaviour and are 100 per cent behind our efforts to save the project, as are the police.”
In the first instance Roy is seeking funding to finish the course with the youngsters currently on board. But his real aim is to convince Walsall Council to get back behind the Catch Them Young project. Roy can be contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .