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Keep funding the craft folk

In response to Adi Bloom's article "Peaceful folk lose money to protest" (TES, March 4) about the Government's withdrawal of the grant for the Woodcraft Folk, I would like to underline the great importance of the work of this group in providing a youth facility through which religious and cultural barriers can be overcome.

I work as a voluntary leader in a Woodcraft group based in Levenshulme, an area of inner-city Manchester.

The group provides the local community with an environment in which children are given the opportunity to participate in activities to which they might not otherwise have access.

In addition, we are able to encourage children to begin thinking about important global and local issues in an environment of understanding, openness and friendship.

Our group tries to attract a range of children, including several recent immigrants from Palestine.

We try to encourage children to develop their self-confidence and begin to communicate and work with others.

Claims being made by the present Government that it is supporting voluntary work, racial understanding and combating apathy, seem to be in direct contradiction to the withdrawal of the grant from the Woodcraft Folk.

Jo Tilley-Riley

209 Chatsworth House

19 Lever St


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