New youth hubs to offer north Norfolk teens a helping hand

The Atrium at North Walsham High School. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Atrium at North Walsham High School. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Youngsters will be able to have fun, and get a helping hand into adulthood and jobs, at a set of new youth 'hubs' being set up across north Norfolk.

The meeting places will not be conventional youth clubs offering pool and Playstation sessions – but somewhere where teenagers can meet, get tailored guidance and advice, become involved in community projects and raise funds for outings and activities.

The hubs are being created in Cromer, Sheringham, Stalham, Mundesley and North Walsham, in a bid to fill the gap left when county hall funding cuts slashed youth services across the district. They aim to particularly help teens in isolated areas and NEETS - youngsters not in education, employment or training - but will be open to anyone aged 13 - 19.

Set up by the North Norfolk Youth Advisory Board with £45,000 of Norfolk County Council funding, they will be run by youth workers Hannah Garrard and Will Mills from the Mancroft Advice Project.

Miss Garrard said: 'Young people aren't getting the careers advice and other help that they need, so that's where we come in. It's more than a youth club in the traditional sense.


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'Yes there will be something for them to do but it's about going beyond that, making links with other groups, learning activities and getting involved with community projects.'

And, while Mr Mills and Miss Garrard, will initially lead the hubs they are keen for youngsters to take the reins, by choosing activities to run and shaping the support available to them.

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'If there's a particular project or activity they want to do we want to see them fundraising and doing the activities themselves and having some financial responsibility,' Miss Garrard added.

'We'll be there to facilitate it but we're not going to do it for them.

'We're very excited about it and see this could really fill some gaps and stir some enthusiasm among young people.'

Support available at the hubs will range from helping youngsters fill in application forms, to inviting experts in to discuss specific career sectors.

The centres in Cromer, Sheringham, Mundesley and Stalham are due to open in the coming weeks.

North Walsham's hub is coming later as last year's needs assessment did not identify the town as a priority as it was then home to two youth clubs.

But their closure means a hub is due to open at the Atrium in mid-September.

The hubs have been welcomed by town leaders including North Walsham deputy mayor Richard Sim.

He said: 'There's so much positive happening in North Walsham you can't forget the next generation.'

District council cabinet member Angie Fitch-Tillet praised any action that got youngsters out of an 'awful 'there's nothing for me to do' scenario.'

? For more details aobut the hubs visit www.facebook.com/nnhubs.

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