Joy for Hadleigh youngsters

YOUNGSTERS in Hadleigh are celebrating today after they got one step closer to a place to go at night.According to former mayor, Penny Black, there is currently nowhere for children in the town to go, so instead they hang around on the streets and can become a nuisance.

YOUNGSTERS in Hadleigh are celebrating today after they got one step closer to a place to go at night.

According to former mayor, Penny Black, there is currently nowhere for children in the town to go, so instead they hang around on the streets and can become a nuisance.

But now, after young people worked together by holding events such as a wheelbarrow race, Mrs Black has been able to put in a planning application to convert a beauty salon in Maiden Way into a drop-in centre for all the community.

The town councillor said: “We've now raised £5,000 which would pay the rent for one year so all we need now is planning permission.

“We really need this drop-in centre. The children can't sit in the car park when it's pouring with rain.

“They need somewhere they can go to get advice or counselling or just to chat with friends.

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“There are so many young people out there and some of them know me now as the lady who is going to help them because I realised something really needed to be done about the situation.

“If you can just give them a sense of belonging you're part of the way there and mostly they need a choice - if they don't want to use the centre that is fine but they need that choice.”

If the centre gets the go-ahead from Babergh District Council Mrs Black hopes it could be running as early as October.

It would be used during the day as a place for elderly people, then from 4.30pm to 8.30pm it would be open to the town's 12 to 18-year-olds.

Mrs Black said: “I really hope the planning permission is granted.

“This is a perfect place for us, in the town centre and we won't cause any problems for people.”

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said it could not comment on the planning application before it was considered by the council's development committee.

Do you think a drop-in centre would help youngsters in Hadleigh? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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