A PROJECT designed to train young black people in the Notting Hill area of London in woodwork and electronics will be forced to close within the next two weeks unless L19,000 can be raised towards the capital cost of completing the workshop building.
The Community Action Workshop Project is sponsored by the Catholic Commission for Racial Justice, and Cardinal Hume recently donated £1,000 to the project's running costs. The Westminster diocese has also contributed £700.
The wages of the 10 young people who work on the project are, however, paid by the Government's job creation programme, and this grant is now to be withdrawn unless the project can guarantee to raise the £19,000 necessary to complete the conversion of the motorway bay in which they work.
For many laf the trainees the project is their first regular employment since leaving school at 15. Most are now in their late teens.. At present they divide their time between building the workshop and lessons in English, maths and black culture.
When the workshop is complete, professional instructors will be brought in to teach the trainees carpentry, electrical wiring and related skills up to the level of City and Guild examinations.
To date the project has been financed by grants from charities and donations from individuals, and finance has always kept ahead of building costs, Inflation, and a request by London Transport to sink the foundations deeper to prevent damage to the motorway, have already added £10,000 to the project's building costs and the job creation p`rogramme's demand that a substantial part of the project's expected costs should be raised immediately is now likely to put the workshop out of business.
Mr Roddy Kentish, the project's co-ordinator, said this week that it would be a tragedy
if the project had to close. "I would show that all the talk about wanting to combat racism and give young black people a decent future is a lot of hot air," he said.
"This project means something concrete to the people in Notting Hill: they can see that something is happening. Take it away and you say to the black community yet again that nobody cares about their future."