Youth club plan re­ceives promis­ing lo­cal sup­port

Bath Chronicle - - OPINION - Dena Shoe­bridge Print writer 01225 322273 dena.shoe­bridge@reach­

A cam­paign to get a youth club set up for teenagers who have ‘noth­ing to do’ has got off to a good start with ini­tial fund­ing be­ing put in place to pi­lot the idea. More than 20 Odd Down res­i­dents at­tended a pub­lic meet­ing at the week­end to show their sup­port and dis­cuss plans for how they could open the youth club for bored teens in the area. Ea­ger res­i­dents joined forces with mem­bers of the Odd Down Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion, who hosted the event, and came up with ideas for fundrais­ing and of­fers to vol­un­teer at the club. The idea for the youth club was first raised by Lisa Watt, who made the plea on Face­book af­ter hear­ing a lot of neg­a­tiv­ity about young­sters in the area. She said: “We were very happy with the at­ten­dance we had at the meet­ing on Satur­day and feel this is very much needed for the youth of Odd Down. “A youth club would give the teenagers and younger chil­dren a place to go, some­where safe for them to meet their friends but in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment.” The Odd Down Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion has now au­tho­rised some ini­tial fund­ing to get the ball rolling and is look­ing into fundrais­ing ideas to keep the club go­ing. The cam­paign­ers and ODCA are look­ing to open the youth club one evening a week start­ing with a ju­nior club for ages eight to 11 and then a senior club to fol­low. Al­though the club won’t be open­ing un­til next year, youths will be asked their views and opin­ions on what they want from it and vol­un­teers will be trained and DBS checked. The ODCA’S sec­re­tary, Gra­ham Pear­son, said he was very pleased with the turn out and hoped more peo­ple will jump on board and help make it a suc­cess. He said: “The meet­ing was very suc­cess­ful and there were plenty of very good ideas on how to get it started but we are at the very be­gin­ning. There is a lot of re­search and plan­ning to do and it is vi­tal we speak with the youths of the area to un­der­stand what they want from the club. “The chal­lenge as al­ways is fund­ing and we need to en­sure the club can be sus­tained but we will be work­ing very closely with not just the res­i­dents and vol­un­teers but also Bath Youth For Christ and the youths them­selves.” Once the club is up and run­ning it will be man­aged by a fully qual­i­fied youth worker as well as a team of vol­un­teers who will be trained and DBS checked. A vol­un­teer train­ing day has been con­firmed for Septem­ber 22 at a yet to be con­firmed venue. A fol­low up meet­ing is also planned for Oc­to­ber 6 to fol­low up ac­tions and keep mo­men­tum go­ing. All ideas and sug­ges­tions for fundrais­ing are wel­come.

Odd Down Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers and res­i­dents at the meet­ing

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