Exchange2 Trustees' Annual Report 2011-12

We are pleased to announce that we are now in our tenth year of youth provision in Harleston and celebrated this in June, volunteers' week, at our Cabin on the recreation ground.

In September 2011 Exchange2 reopened after an extended summer break with two sessions a week for young people at the cabin. We were able to use MTM Youth Services for our youth worker provision and had success in recruiting a very committed team of volunteers. The activities provided conformed to the Charity Commission's guidance on public benefit.

These were Tea and Toast sessions after school on Thursdays and a drop-in session on Tuesdays; they are ongoing. In the Autumn Term, both sessions were well attended with numbers significantly up on the previous year, particularly in the volunteer only afternoons. The cold weather affected the late sessions after Christmas but the afternoon ones attracted a regular number of young people.

It was decided to offer some informal sports sessions on Tuesdays as an extra event run in conjunction with the Community Sports Foundation. As a pilot project to see if sports would be worth investing in, in the future, it has indicated that an informal drop-in sports session would be worth further investigation.

We have the Limbourne Trust to thank as well as the Mason Trust, for funding this year. Also, efforts have been made to fundraise locally through Cake Sales which also raises our profile.

We were awarded funding through the Youth Transition Fund to enable us to put into place a recruitment package for volunteers. We are working in partnership with Harleston Information Plus (HIP) to achieve a Recruitment Event and Handbook for the Exchange2 Trustees to work from in the future. Thanks for this cooperation should go to the board of HIP.

Links are being strengthened with the local community and we have support from Archbishop Sancroft School as well as Harleston Town council. The Trustees recognise the fact that for Exchange2 to survive it must remain a community provision and they are working towards enabling this to happen. Thanks must also be given for the support from Momentum which has provided invaluable advice during this transition period.

The fact that young people are coming on a regular basis shows the need for and importance of having an informal meeting place that fosters their understanding of their role in society and gives them a safe and supportive environment.