Second youth cafe for Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 16:23 23 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:19 17 June 2010

A SECOND Sidmouth youth café should be up and running this summer with the transformation of seafront shelters below Fortfield Lawn. Giovani, the brainchild of students Dan Gigg and Georgia Reading, is backed by Sidmouth Youth Initiative and Sidmouth To

A SECOND Sidmouth youth café should be up and running this summer with the transformation of seafront shelters below Fortfield Lawn.

Giovani, the brainchild of students Dan Gigg and Georgia Reading, is backed by Sidmouth Youth Initiative and Sidmouth Town Council.

Aimed as a social facility for 13 to18-year-olds, it cannot come soon enough for 80 percent of 201 young people surveyed last October, who said they would use it in the summer holidays.

Paul Whitehouse from Sidmouth Youth Initiative, which has representatives from Sidmouth Youth Council, told town councillors at its January meeting that youngsters were "bored" with Sidmouth because there was nothing to do.

Of the 67 percent who responded to the survey, more than half said they didn't go to an organised youth club.

One in 10 said the place they lived in was not successful at meeting their needs.

"One in three said there was nowhere to hang out with friends and two in five use the cinema," said Mr Whitehouse.

The survey showed twice the number of boys than girls used sports centre facilities.

Mr Whitehouse said Sidmouth College was doing a "fantastic job" getting to grips with the needs of young people and praised Mark Gerry, of Devon Youth Service, for "doing a terrific job" at Manstone Youth Centre.

Councillor Anne Liverton, town council representative on SYC, paid tribute to Mark's leadership saying: "We have got a superb youth leader who does an amazing job with incredible patience."

Of Giovani, Councillor Christine Drew said: "This is a very exciting initiative. We need to give this every support.

"I hope it does take off and once it does I hope youngsters will use it, they will feel safe.

"I do hope the older generation look kindly on the young, they are good kids."

Chairman Councillor Tom Cox praised SYC for its community efforts so far, such as cleaning the beach and providing cream teas to older residents.


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