FOURTEEN youth projects across the county are set to get a cash boost in the latest round of County Hall grants.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Chill Out fund distributes £100,000 a year to leisure initiatives targeted at eight- to 19-year-olds that have already secured some financial backing from other bodies.

Among those applying, charity Soundabout wants to start new family weekend sessions in Oxford for nine- to 24-year-olds with disabilities, bringing youngsters together to make music alongside their parents, carers and siblings.

Community-run youth clubs in Watlington, Chalgrove and Chinnor have all applied for cash to recruit youth workers, following the council youth service cuts.

And in Wantage, the Sweatbox youth club, one of 13 to stop receiving cash from the council, has applied for £4,500 towards the creation of a new outdoor canopy creating a performance space for musicians and DJs.

Youth worker Garry Kingett said: “We want to meet the number one expressed need from young people: to provide somewhere to go and something to do.

“What we want is to create an environment that is what young people want.

“Sweatbox itself is a good environment, but a lot of kids want to be outside. This could be a performance space for DJs or drama, and we could make it really cool.

“It would be open whenever the youth centre is open, and hopefully people could hire it for special events.”

Oxford Young Steps has applied for £4,040 towards its outreach basketball initiative in Blackbird Leys.

Coordinator Lawrance Shama said: “Funds like these are crucial, and in the current times, even more vital.”

In Witney, the Guidepost Trust charity has applied for £2,882 towards a new social group for 16- to 24-year-olds with learning difficulties.

The trust already runs clubs for younger children and adults, but has found diffic-ulty in persuading older teenagers to move on.

Organiser Jackie Goodwin said: “Our 17- and 18-year-olds find the thought of moving into the older club a bit daunting. They do not get out much, and this provides a break for carers and parents as well.

“They want to meet up and talk about football and Facebook, but often do not get the chance to so get a bit isolated.”

County council officers have recommended that 14 of the 16 groups that applied for money should get funding.

The councillor responsible for children and young people, Louise Chapman, will make a decision tomorrow.

She said: “Young people like different things, whether it is sport, youth clubs or artistic activities. We try to support groups in the community that provide different things all across the county.”