White Horse Project
The White Horse Project is a youth club, which meets in Waterfoot, whose members by and large come from Edgeside estate, and attend Fearns secondary school. It is run by Jill Bevan.
Rossendale Rotary Club first heard about their problem in March this year, when their funding from the council was suddenly and completely withdrawn because of unavoidable cut backs, which amounts to about £11000p.a. Our club has advised them who to approach for help, local trusts, and organisations like the Princes Trust, which already has born fruit.
We also decided to use the Church & Oswaldtwistle walk to raise additional funds. We were joined on the walk by councillor Amanda Robertson, currently Mayor of ROSSENDALE, who is a trustee of the project. Included in our team was my daughter Tessa (pictured), whose partner is a member of the ROSSENDALE fire and rescue service. Members of the fire and rescue team sponsored her to the tune of £100, providing she ran the course, which, because of the number of participants, was impossible on the day. So in order to fulfil her promise, she ran the course again, the following Thursday along with the family dog Nanuk, a very clever springer spaniel (see picture). Rossendale Rotary Club has presented the White Horse Project with a cheque for £714 from our club, and Amanda will also present one for £400, donated by her sponsors. This makes a grand total of £1114 raised on the back of the Rotary Walk.
All in all it has been a successful project. The White Horse has financial backing to see it through into next year, and gives them breathing space to look for ways to reduce their running costs, without endangering club attendance. It is also impressive, that according to police statistics, the incidence of youth crime and disturbance in that area has reduced remarkably over the last 4 or 5 years, since The White Horse Project started. Of course there is no proof that this is because of their existence, but it is a remarkable coincidence, and due primarily to the enthusiasm and dedication of Jill Bevan and her team.
David Walmsley – Rossendale Rotary Club.