Kesgrave Youth Club to relaunch one year on from anti-social behaviour issues which resulted in closure

Millennium Jubilee Hall in Kesgrave, where the relaunched sessions will be held. Picture: GREGG BROW

Millennium Jubilee Hall in Kesgrave, where the relaunched sessions will be held. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A Kesgrave youth club which had to be suspended almost a year ago after a string of anti-social behaviour problems culminated in a fire is set to be relaunched next month.

The weekly Thursday youth club for those aged 14 upwards at the Millennium Jubilee Hall in Kesgrave had suffered a string of problems with anti-social behaviour early last year.

The final straw came on February 2 when a fire was started deliberately in the toilets, prompting Kesgrave Town Council to announce it was suspending the sessions.

The weekly Tuesday youth club for those aged 13 and under continued as normal.

The town council opened a tender in August for a new organisation to run sessions for the teenagers, with Orwell being confirmed to have secured the bid in October.

On Thursday, February 1 – almost exactly a year on – the new team is launching the club with a taster night open to those aged 14-18.

Neal Beecroft-Smith, chairman of Kesgrave Town Council, said: “The town council is really looking forward to working closely with Orwell and continuing to work with the young people from our town and high school in order to provide a facility for young people which works well and provides a safe and designated space for them to meet.”

In preparation for the new club, Orwell has carried out a host of planning meetings with staff, reviewed procedures and documentation and is carrying out a visit to Kesgrave High School.

A consultation will also be carried out with youngsters to find out what they would like from their new youth club.

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Mr Beecroft-Smith said the aim was for young people to “feel positive about the youth club and provision for young people”, feel “safe and supported” and encourage a “more positive perception of young people among the adults in the community”.

Following the closure last February, police said it had identified a number of youngsters involved, and had worked alongside the town council, youth club and youth offending team to monitor the situation.

At the time, the town council said it was the “normal story of a few spoiling things for the majority”.