Youth House closed after charity goes bust

PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 March 2015

Nailsea Youth House has been closed after a charity went bust.

Nailsea Youth House has been closed after a charity went bust.

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YOUTH House in Nailsea has been shut down after the charity which ran sessions at the facility became insolvent.

Avon Youth Association (AYA) has been running activities for young people at the High Street venue for two-and-a-half years, but the provision has now been cancelled.

Nailsea Town Council has asked FoReal to take over the town’s youth provision, but sessions are not due to start until April.

The town council began paying for youth services in 2012 after North Somerset Council cut all its provision to focus on social services instead.

Last year, the town authority paid Avon Youth Association £20,000 to run three sessions for 47 weeks of the year.

Karen Pike, director of FoReal which already runs services in Clevedon, Pill, Congresbruy and Flax Bourton, is now looking forward to meeting Nailsea’s young people and finding out what activities they would like set up.

She said: “I’ve got a youth worker starting in March to make links with other community groups and build a programme based on what the young people want.

“We’re looking forward to working in Nailsea and it’s quite exciting to develop something from scratch.”

Avon Youth Association (AYA) has been providing support and activities for young people in North Somerset and surrounding authorities since 1861.

Last year the charity was informed by its pension agency it needed to find £56,000 to cover a deficit in its pension plan.

When it could not find the money, it was thrown into voluntary insolvency which has left 19 people out of a job and led to youth services across North Somerset being put on hold.

Ian Anderson, former chief executive of AYA, said: “We didn’t have the money which threw us straight into voluntary insolvency.

“We are now trying to start afresh and renegotiate all the projects we were running. We have to build all our finances up again. Any help would be more than welcome.”

During the life of AYA, bosses set up a separate charity called the Youth Outreach Project to run a lottery-funded scheme in Bristol and North East Somerset.

When the five-year project ended, the charity was not dissolved, so staff are hoping to continue with AYA’s work under the banner of the Youth Outreach Project.

The new charity must first find £1,500 to ensure it has the correct legal cover in place before it can operate any projects.

Anyone interested in donating to the charity can email youth.outreachproject@outlook.com


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