Record numbers for revamped youth club
YOUNG people in Backwell have given a big thumbs up to a revamped village youth club which opened at the end of April under new management.
Backwell Youth Club Management Committee say the new club, at the recreation ground in Rodney Road, has seen record numbers of young people attending since it was taken over by youth organisation, Rainbow, best known for running a village preschool.
Speaking to Backwell Residents Association, chairman of the youth club’s management committee, Michael Pratt, said the venue has been attracting more than the 30 maximum capacity of teenagers, even on a Thursday which has traditionally been the quieter of the two nights the club is open.
He said: “On April 23, the first night, we had 25 young people turn up and the following week we had 32.
“And last week we had 25 on the Thursday night, which is excellent for the quieter night.”
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The club has a strict rule that no more than five attendees leave the premises at any one time, to avoid big gangs of youths causing a nuisance in the village.
Michael said: “This is rigidly enforced, with the help of a police officer and PCSO, in fact so much so that the kids make a point of saying to us, ‘we are only five’ when they go out.”
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He said the club’s success is down to Rainbow leader Shirley Wills assisted by two members of staff.
He added: “I have to congratulate her and the staff for embracing the new ideas.
“It all seems to be going very well.”
Two volunteers have now stepped in to help run the club, which opens from 7pm and charges young people between the ages of 11 and 19 years, a �1 entrance fee.
The committee received �5,000 from Backwell Parish Council and �4,650 from North Somerset Council towards the provision, which will run for 38 weeks a year.
The unitary authority pulled the plug on funding for youth clubs at the end of April due to major spending cuts, resulting in communities being asked to step forward and organise their own.