A place to turn to

THERE'S no excuse for our county's youngsters claiming they are bored, with nothing to do, and nowhere to go. Suffolk Young People's Health Project offers activities and advice to all 12-25 year olds, so feature writer JAMES MARSTON visited the charity's Ipswich base.

THERE'S no excuse for our county's youngsters claiming they are bored, with nothing to do, and nowhere to go. Suffolk Young People's Health Project offers activities and advice to all 12-25 year olds, so feature writer JAMES MARSTON visited the charity's Ipswich base.

IN the kitchen Damien Corbett, Neil Barton and Rebecca Sweetenham are learning to cook.

They pick up tips about healthy eating and how to prepare food - and are actively encouraged to enjoy the process. The popular course is one of many on offer at the 4YP (For Young People) centre in Ipswich's Lower Brook Street.

The youngsters who attend, love having somewhere to go. Neil, 21, said: “I would like to be a youth worker and I came here when I was unemployed as it was somewhere to go.”


You may also want to watch:


18-year-old Damien said: “It was through my sister that I found out about the centre. It was somewhere to go and it's a good place to come to. There's a lot of things going on and lots to do.”

Rebecca, 15, said: “I came here to get contraceptive advice, and now I'm here on work experience from Westbourne High School.”

Most Read

4YP is the working name for Suffolk Young People's Health Project, a registered charity which provides and co-ordinates services to improve the health and well-being of young people.

The charity was formed in 1997 and has run the drop-in centre in Lower Brook Street since 2004.

Centre manager Cherry Finch said: “I've worked here since then. We are a multi-agency team who provide services and support for young people aged between 12 and 25 in a variety of ways.

“We provide advice about drugs, sexual health, and other youth issues. We coordinate services and 4YP is effectively a collection of all the agencies.

“Our clients are either referred to us or come here on their own accord. It is open to all young people.”

Coordinating the work of eight agencies under one roof, the centre has proved to be popular among young people.

Cherry said: “We have up to 50 or 60 young people here during an evening depending on what is going on. It's not just a youth club though, there is lots going on here.

“At the moment we have a cookery class on a Wednesday evening. The youth worker and our volunteer chef work with a group of young people not only to improve their skills in the kitchen and with cooking but also to shop on a budget and plan and work as a team. We also aim to raise self-esteem and confidence and give opportunities for youngsters to succeed and socialise in a safe and secure environment.”

Offering sexual health drop-in service, advice services, clubs and societies as well as counselling service 4YP provides youngsters with a safe environment away from the streets.

Youth worker Lud Callupe said: “I want to be somebody they can turn to and a person young people can approach. I also want those that come here to feel that this is a place they can be part of.”

With a kitchen, clothing cupboard, internet access, shower facility and laundry many young people find the centre a safe and secure place to visit.

What do you think of 4YP? Have you benefited from the work the centre does? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

4YP has its own allotment, and is appealing for help with equipment.

Cherry Finch said: “The idea has been taken up with great enthusiasm, There are many benefits; we can grow our own ingredients for cooking sessions, excess produce can be sold on and the money put back into the project.

“The allotment also promotes healthy eating and is a good source of exercise.”

Cherry said: “We are short of spades, forks, seeds, and equipment necessary to make this a success.”

If you have anything spare that could be used by the project please call Cherry on 0845 3108450.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter