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Vote to get youngsters into work
AN Oxford charity is urging the county to support it when it competes against a Portsmouth group to win Lottery cash.
Viewers of ITV Meridian West will be asked to vote for their favourite project to win a £50,000 cash injection.
Oxford-based TRAX to Work will be pitched against Portsmouth project Mind Your Manor in the People’s Millions 2013 appeal.
Trax manager Lyndon Biddle is urging residents to get their votes in on the night.
The charity, based at Red Barn Farm, near Pear Tree, Oxford, supports disadvantaged youngsters. It wants to get two initiatives off the ground that will help provide unemployed young people paid work experience.
One would involve unemployed teenagers being trained to restore bikes, and pass on their skills to nine- to 14-years-olds who pay to go on a course.
Bicycles would be provided by Oxfordshire County Council from its recycling sites and people attending the course would be able to keep the bike they restored.
A second initiative is a catering service, such as preparing buffets, for businesses and organisations.
Mr Biddle said: “We recognise the need for young people to gain employment.
“As a general rule we work with young people who are disengaged with education and generally find it hard to make that next step into employment.”
He said that they would have real work experience through the scheme which would then help them into employment.
Mr Biddle added: “For a lot of 18- and 19-year-olds it’s very hard to get your toe in the water of working.”
In September charity motor project Trax, formed more than 20 years ago to combat rising car crime, won a £5,000 Diamond Jubilee Grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) towards the project.
But Mr Biddle said it needs a further £35,000 over the first 12 months until it becomes self-supporting.
He added: “We need the support of all the people of Oxfordshire.
“In reality the scale and speed at which we can develop this idea is going to be doubled, trebled or quadrupled by the funding.”
Trax for Work, which has helped 5,000 young people gain skills, qualifications and employment over the past two decades, will be featured on TV on November 26. Six groups are shortlisted for the Meridian West area to be voted on over three nights from November 25-27.
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