Volunteer appeal as Sidmouth youth cafe nears completion

PUBLISHED: 12:47 12 June 2010 | UPDATED: 14:04 18 June 2010

THE long-awaited Arches Youth Café on Sidmouth s seafront is nearing completion – but a desperate plea has been made for volunteers to come forward. The finishing touches are being made to the new premises on the western Esplanade and work could be comple

THE long-awaited Arches Youth Café on Sidmouth's seafront is nearing completion - but a desperate plea has been made for volunteers to come forward.

The finishing touches are being made to the new premises on the western Esplanade and work could be completed in around two weeks.

After months of planning in consultation with local teenagers, fundraising work and sourcing equipment, the community project, which has been strongly supported by Sidmouth Town Council, could be 'available for operation' by the end of June.

But the major Sidmouth Youth Trust initiative received a blow when Devon County Council told them it could not recruit two trained youth workers which had been planned.

Chris Rignall, vice chairman of SYT, said: "The original plan was to recruit two part-time youth workers through Devon Youth Service but as a result of recent changes in public sector policy, recruitment is presently on hold.

"Whilst it is still possible a youth worker may be appointed, the trustees of SYT are now very anxious to hear from potential adult volunteers who would be willing to work on a two-hour shift basis to supervise activities at the café."

A spokesperson for DCC said: "The posts are going through the vacancy management process which starts with the service considering internal movement and secondment.

"If this isn't possible they should be internally advertised and this is the process the posts are now in. If we are unable to recruit internally we will then apply to advertise externally."

Several volunteers have already been found, to help at the cafe but more are needed in order to spread the workload and extend the café opening times.

Mr Rignall added: "The volunteers will usually be working in pairs and, where necessary, some basic training will be provided.

"This is a great opportunity for Sid Valley's young-at-heart adults to do something positive to help local youngsters by volunteering for just a few hours per week."

If you would like to talk about what is involved in more detail call Di Fuller on (01395) 576669 or Paul Whitehouse on (01395) 579818.

The SYT project will continue to be heavily influenced by the appointed youth directors and The Arches youth based management committee, whose close involvement the trustees believe is vital to the success of the project, said Mr Rignall.


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