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Ipswich youth club invites past members to mark 40th anniversary

Alan Road Youth Club pool knockout competition 1987  Picture: MICK BOYNES

Alan Road Youth Club pool knockout competition 1987 Picture: MICK BOYNES

Mick Boynes

An Ipswich youth club is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Alan Road Youth Club concert 1987  Picture: ARCHANTAlan Road Youth Club concert 1987 Picture: ARCHANT

Alan Road Youth Club was established during the 1940s, but relaunched in 1979 after a break, when methodist church members wanted to provide a space for young people in local community.

The club was run by Pat and Mike Barfield, Ivan and Val Kindred, Mick and Hilda Boynes, Sue Hunting and Max Perez - all assisted by helpers over the years.

Mick Boynes and Sue Hunting were the last of the original team to retire at the end of 2000.

From 2001, Helen Keown, Iain Keown and Julian Mettrick took over the running of the club.

Alan Road Youth Club fundraising competition for Comic Relief 1998  Picture: MICK BOYNESAlan Road Youth Club fundraising competition for Comic Relief 1998 Picture: MICK BOYNES

Along with Matt Button, who joined the team later on, all were former members who realised the need to provide a place for youngsters.

The club is self-sufficient and provides activities like ball games, cookery, games consoles, quizzes, crafts and pool, as well as outings subsidised where possible.

Many past and current members are involved in other church activities. Some are the children of previous members, or have siblings at club, and many met spouses through the club.

The club supports local and national charities and appeals, with members choosing which to support for the year. They donate loose change weekly and have supported EACH, St Elizabeth Hospice, the Ipswich Star's guide dog appeal, and this year, Ipswich Hospital's Children's Appeal.

Alan Road Youth Club members in 1998. Three couples pictured are now married, including Iain and Helen Keown  Picture: MICK BOYNESAlan Road Youth Club members in 1998. Three couples pictured are now married, including Iain and Helen Keown Picture: MICK BOYNES

Mr Keown said: "We're all very proud that our club has reached 40 and that youngsters still find it a place they like to attend.

"Although things have changed considerably over the years, having somewhere for the youth to meet in a safe environment to socialise with their friends is clearly still an important factor.

"We have been able to adapt what we do to keep the youngsters engaged. We're pleased to still have members joining us on a weekly basis - aged 11 years and upwards and at high school).

"We have been involved in the club for 28 years now, as members and then leaders, and it is hard to believe it has been that long.

Alan Road Youth Club presenting a cheque to the British Heart Foundation 1997  Picture: MICK BOYNESAlan Road Youth Club presenting a cheque to the British Heart Foundation 1997 Picture: MICK BOYNES

"We are very much looking forward to meeting up with members and leaders from the past 40 years, sharing memories and birthday cake and cringing at photographs from our youth!"

Celebrations start at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 28. If you would like to attend, or join the club, email alanroadyouthclub@yahoo.co.uk.

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