A Carlisle youth project officially said goodbye to its old facilities on Monday after significant fundraising efforts saw it earn enough to build fresh.

The Rock Currock Youth Project has now raised the necessary funds to build a new youth facility for the young people of Currock and Upperby and South Carlisle, with the club set to temporarily relocate to St Herbert's Church while the current site is demolished. 

The Rock was founded by the Rev Alun Jones in 2016 as a response to anti-social behaviour and youth disorder in the areas of Currock and Upperby.

It has used two old green huts that were left on the site from the previous Currock Bowling Club on Scalegate Road as a base for many of the youth activities provided by Hannah Gill, the Project Manager, and the Rock team of youth workers.

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Rev Alun Jones who is the founder and chair of the multi-award-winning Project said: "It is thanks to our many great and loyal funders, and our trustees and staff both past and present that we are now in a position to remove the two green huts and build a fantastic new facility for the young people of our communities here in Currcok and Upperby. 

"We want to thank all funders who have given so generously towards this project over the many years since we started.

"A real asset for the Rock Youth Project is that we are based right in the heart of the Riverside housing estates and in the most challenging areas of Carlisle. Areas that are in the bottom 10% nationally of deprivation and have high rates of anti-social behaviour and youth crime.

"We attract around 500 kids off the streets and into our project every month between our sites on Scalegate Road and Petrill Bank and that is a credit to Hannah and our team of youth workers. This new freshly designed building will provide a safe place for kids to grow and enjoy facilities that will help them to thrive and be full of hope for the future."

The Rock is a free universal provision youth club. The clubs are split into junior (ages 7-11) senior (11-18) and girls club (10-18). The activities the Rock runs include sports, arts and crafts, cooking and life skills amongst others.

The Rock delivers sessions throughout the day during the school holiday and runs trips, all free of charge. It also provides access to hot food and toiletries free of charge to anyone in the community who may need it.

Rev Jones added: "Our communities have suffered so much from the effects of Covid and now the cost of living crisis it's time we all pulled together and stood alongside those who have suffered the most to build resilience and break down isolation by bringing our young people together.

Monday, July 31 saw the Rock officially say goodbye to their old premises with a farewell party, with the green huts set to be demolished to make way for the new facilities. 

Hannah Gill, Vickie Harkness, and Sara Douglas, who work at the club, raised more than £500 to buy new facilities for the premises with a near eight-hour walk along Kielder Water over the weekend.