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Club seeks new lease of life

PUBLISHED: 19:00 03 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

MOVES to revive a collapsed youth club on the Shotley peninsula were underway today with organisers appealing to both adults and youngsters for input.

Graham Steel, who helped run Shotley Youth Club for nearly five years until it folded in spring this year has decided to see if there is still enthusiasm for the volunteer venture.

MOVES to revive a collapsed youth club on the Shotley peninsula were underway today with organisers appealing to both adults and youngsters for input.

Graham Steel, who helped run Shotley Youth Club for nearly five years until it folded in spring this year has decided to see if there is still enthusiasm for the volunteer venture.

A meeting for young people and adults who would like to help re-opening the club has been called in the village hall, at 7pm on November 8.

"Shotley is the biggest community on the peninsula and it's probably the one with the largest population of young people in it. There is a huge demand for it," said father-of-one Mr Steel of The Street, Shotley.

"People kept coming up to me and asking if it was going to open up again and nine months after we closed I thought shall we give it a go and see if we can get it moving again."

The club was targeted at 11 to 16-year-olds and was held in a portable building at the back of the village hall.

It ran out of steam after becoming trapped in a spiral of decline and financial problems. Adult volunteers were not able to make the commitment to regular Tuesday evening meetings and youngsters started to loose interest in the club as it became sporadic and an unreliable meeting place.

Mr Steel, who is chairman of the Shotley Youth Club committee said he and the remaining committee members were aware that youngsters had started congregating in the bus shelter, probably for want of a better place to meet, and he was anxious to find them a safer meeting spot.

He was also keen to ensure that youngsters had a forum to make their views known on the future of the former HMS Ganges naval training base and other issues affecting the peninsula.

"The club was a method of getting young people's views known to the parish and county council and the youth club committee always included young people and co-option from the parish council and community education," said Mr Steel, a freelance lecturer.

Adult volunteers are needed for anything from fundraising to craft and coaching skills or simple for being a good listener. Qualifications are not necessary as support and training can be made available. It is also not necessary to commit to weekly meetings, a once a month input could be equally important.

Youngsters are being asked what they want from a youth club. Is it somewhere warm and safe to meet, a place to play table tennis or do they want information and advice, computer access and trips out.

Graham Steel can be contacted on 01473 787757 or on email at shotley.youthclub@ntlworld.com

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