Grant is a timely boost for charity

BOSSES at a charity that helps support talented young people has been given a cash boost by councillors.

Hartlepool-based Red Dreams, which supports more than 150 young people up to the age of 19, has been awarded a £2,896 grant by Hartlepool Borough Council grants committee.

The money will be used to cover costs including utility bills, internet and telephone, administration and insurance costs at the organisation.

Dawn McManus, 40, set up the charity with her husband, Ian, 41, after their 16-year-old son, Kyle, died from a brain haemorrhage in 2007.

Former teacher Dawn, of Lennox Walk, Hartlepool, said: “This has come at the right time for us and we are really grateful.

“We did struggle for a while but this will allow us to pay bills and get us back on the right track.”

It costs about £8,000 a year to run Red Dreams and Dawn said they apply for funding from a range of organisations each year.

The funding package, which will cover costs between April and September, was approved at the second time of asking by councillors.

The original application was rejected because of fears their organisation was too similar to another charity in town, The Studio, in Tower Street, which closed recently after getting into financial difficulty.

The decision was appealed and more information sent into officers.

It then went back before the grants committee, which is chaired by Labour councillor Robbie Payne, for approval.

Bosses at Red Dreams, which is based in Whitby Street South, had applied for a £5,792 grant but it was awarded £2,896 for a six-month period.

They have also applied to other funders including the Big Lottery and Children in Need.

Dawn said: “We were not too happy that the application was turned down originally because we felt there was a big difference between what Red Dreams and The Studio offered.

“The grant system is being restructured but this should put us in a better position and help future bids.”

The charity, which has not received council support before, provides a range of facilities including rehearsal and recording rooms, a performance room and photography studio.

It supports young people interested in a range of art forms including performing arts and music.