Ideas needed to help Ottery youth club reopen following decline in numbers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 February 2019

Mac Dick, chair of the Station, says trustees have every intention of restarting the youth club, which is temporarily closed. Picture: Clarissa Place

Mac Dick, chair of the Station, says trustees have every intention of restarting the youth club, which is temporarily closed. Picture: Clarissa Place

Archant

Young people are being called to help shape the future of Ottery’s youth club as part of a bid to restart the service.

The club, which meets at the Station, has been closed temporarily due to a fall in attendance and members of the youth worker team stepping down.

Trustees met this week to finalise the best course of action to find out what young people and their parents want out of the service and say they are committed to keeping the club running.

The youth club has been running for more than three years after the Station was taken over by the town council.

Mac Dick, chairman of Ottery Station, said: “It’s absolutely our intention to open again.

“It’s been a good thing to step back and reflect what we should be offering here.

“It’s a great space.

“In recent months we have seen a decline in the number attending and the trustees have felt that we needed reassess what we offer the young people of Ottery and the surrounding villages.

“We want this period to be as short as possible. Whilst the community hub aspect of Ottery Station is going well, the primary driver in taking over the site was the youth club.

“We think now is a really good time to ensure that when we reopen, the youth club will be something the young people really want and will have the full support of the local community.”

Trustees say a part of their focus is the 13 to 16-year-old demographic, and say if they launch a consultation they would like to use focus groups involving secondary school students.

Mr Dick said trustees would look to recruit volunteers to help staff the sessions alongside a trained youth worker.

All new volunteers will be offered training, with safeguarding checks.

Mr Dick said: “We need lots more volunteers.

“We will also need to have a youth worker. We need an experienced youth worker when it opens again and the rest of the staffing, volunteers, parents or some people that want to help young people.

“All people need is a willing heart and openness to try to work with young people are the main ingredients. Whatever way we go we want people to volunteer.”

Contact Mr Dick by emailing MacDick1@aol.com to find out about the consultation or to volunteer.

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