For Hideaway Youth Project, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary since its conception. In order to celebrate 50 years of great youth work, achievements and successes, the centre organised a party on the 4th of July, with everyone welcome.

As the day went on, a large part of the Moss Side community attended the event. The program started at 11 a.m with various stalls, games and refreshments. From 3 p.m to 5 p.m the centre had a memories and experiences sharing session. The day then ended with food and music until 8 p.m.

However, the celebration mood is sure to remain clouded by the current context of welfare and youth projects government cuts, which have led to the closure of more than 350 youth clubs around the country and over 2000 job cuts.

Struggling for fundings, Hideaway has "managed to hang on by the skin of their teeth", Akemia Minott, Hideaway youth worker told BN.

The youth project is currently engaging with nearly 900 youngsters aged 11-25, working in areas such as child sexual exploitation, relationship abuse, racism or youth violence. For many of the youngsters, the project represents a unique window into the outside world and a unique point of contact for help, advice and even good company.

“We give young people opportunities they would otherwise probably never have, we encourage them to make positive choices about their lives even in difficult circumstances” explained Akemia.

Struggling with the difficulties of the current economic situation, our Government faces tough choices.

However, while everyone understands the issue at stake, many in thecommunity are asking why is it for our youth to pay the cost? With the amount of problemsand obstacles our youths are already facing, why do they have to be left with the bill?

While we are all thankful for the remarkable work and really want to wish a happy anniversary to Hideaway youth project, the very fact that these crucial questions are left unanswered is casting a worrying spell of uncertainty on our local community.