It’s back – youth project returns after funding crisis to join the fight against antisocial behaviour

BACK IN BUSINESS: Youngsters and volunteers outside the reopened centre. Below, how the Echo reported the funding crisis.
BACK IN BUSINESS: Youngsters and volunteers outside the reopened centre. Below, how the Echo reported the funding crisis.
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A YOUTH club which was axed after it helped slash antisocial behaviour by 12 per cent has reopened in a bid to again get kids off the street.

The youth club at Grindon Young People’s Centre relaunched on Saturday after funding cuts forced it to close its doors last year – just weeks after it was praised by Northumbria Police for contributing to a drop in trouble on the estate.

Now the Youth Almighty project has secured £3,000 community chest funding and has also contributed £5,000 from its own reserves.

Initially, the club will run on Saturdays from 7pm until 9pm – the busiest night from a policing and antisocial behaviour perspective – but it is hoped that further funding can be sought to open on some weekdays.

Organisers are now urging city youngsters to get involved and go along to the newly-opened club.

Silksworth councillor and Youth Almighty volunteer Phil Tye said: “We had 19 people through the doors on Saturday and that’s with very little publicity,

“The more people we get in, the better. If we have a lot of interest, we are hoping that is just the start and we can then justify further funding, because it is clearly needed in this area. The residents can see that it’s needed.”

The youth club is being run as a partnership, with Youth Almighty providing qualified workers to run the sessions with Grindon Young People’s Centre providing the building for its use.

Schools and places frequented by young people are now being targeting with leaflets to make sure as many as possible are aware of the centre’s relaunch.

Activities at the club will initially include football and arts and crafts, as well as educational work around the misuse of alcohol and legal highs.

Funding has also been used to buy laptops and PlayStation 4s.

“This is a purpose-built youth centre and we need to use the facilities and resources that we do have,” said Coun Tye.

“It’s been proven when the centre is not open that certain issues start to creep back up again. The residents in the area can see it.”