Monday, February 22, 2010

The future of Edge Hill Youth Club

As Chair of the District with a strong interest in young people, I continue to be very busy with Edge Hill Youth Club - "the Boysy". Readers will recall that the club's youth council invited me to a meeting some months ago following the successful Town Hall young people's Democracy and Engagement event where we really enjoyed each other's company. Most if not all of the Youth Council live in K&F rather than Edge Hill, so I have an extra reason to want to work with them, not just because of my district hat, but because they and the staff come from my ward in big numbers. Sadly our only youth club in the ward, the marvellous Central Youth Club (the "Cenny") realistically only serves Kensington, and the young people of Fairfield have nothing to serve them, so they travel to the Boysy. I also learnt that the Chair of the Club is a former Labour councillor although we had not met properly before I undertook this particular piece of work. The young people told me in the Town Hall about their worry about the future of their club, which they expected to lose almost on a daily basis and a few weeks later the invite arrived. They wanted me to become their "champion" and work with them as the club was destined to be demolished by the wreckers' ball as part of the development of the Edge Lane West scheme. I have met the young people very often since and have organised a series of meetings between the club's board and HMRI to make some progress after a two year lull. We now think we are much closer to a resolution, with a possible new location identified. Of course we still have to do the maths and it is too soon to say whether the plans will come to fruition, but when I went into the club last week I was very interested to talk to the young people (aged 5 - 18) about what they would like in a new club. Some of their free form ideas will never happen, given that they are based on some wonderful attractions they have visited, including reptile hothouses and swimming baths for instance! but many are very reasonable and with some serious fundraising we should be able to organise them - gymnasium equipment for instance.
Currently I am encouraging local people to collect Echo Wish Tokens for the club so if you dont have any other groups that you are collecting for, please start saving them for the Boysy.


Tim Beaumont said...

Well done Louise. We need clubs like this. Keep me posted.

Anonymous said...

It's great the club has a future. So much hard work has been achieved by the staff and young people.