Redhill Youth Club officially open

Stencilled art at Redhill Youth Club

Spraycan art was one of the activities on offer at the youth club

I had a great time at the launch of Redhill Youth Club today.

The club has been running since September on Friday evenings at the Youth Association building off Marketfield Way (behind Liquid and Envy).  They are already attracting 35+ young people each week and have a growing team of volunteers supporting the one paid youth worker.

Today’s launch event gave local people a chance to try out some of the attractions on offer – including Wii games, table tennis, pool, and urban art.  The art was particularly popular – it was great to see the buzz of energy as people from tinies to adults got creative with stencils and spraycans.

The Youth Club has been a while in the planning.  It is supported by a Youth Consortium which includes the Council, Raven Housing Trust, Hyde Martlett Housing Trust, Surrey Police, Surrey Youth Focus and others.  The Consortium raised money to refurbish the kitchen in the Youth Association Hall, buy equipment and hire a youth worker.  So far, their funding only covers a six-month pilot – let’s fervently hope the money is there for it to continue. We are not talking big sums – just enough to pay for a youth worker a few hours a week to plan activities, deal with the necessary admin, and run the club.

Young people in Redhill sometimes get a bad press for hanging around in the town centre. But in the absence of safe and interesting places to go, what are they meant to do?

Clubs like this one can provide a really positive focus for young people.   Yet the youth centre in Noke Drive closed ten years ago and is now falling into dereliction.  So far, efforts to persuade Surrey County Council to let the community use this centre have not been successful – but there is lots of appetite to bring it back into use,  and today I sensed quiet rebellion brewing amongst some of the Youth Consortium Partners.  If anyone has ideas about how to develop other facilities for young people, let’s discuss them.

Half term fun 

Earlier in the day, my two youngest children took a Parkour course at the Phoenix Centre in Preston. Part of the Council’s Half Term activities programme, this was a really excellent event.  Big thanks to Sue and Cat, the Leisure Services Officers, who provide such amazing opportunities for our young people throughout the year.

 

 

 

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