Mile Cross children’s group helped by charity grant
PUBLISHED: 19:19 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 20:15 14 March 2017
It is a scene reminiscent of the television show Byker Grove - young people piling into a youth club after school, with adult volunteers giving up their free time to provide activities.
And although it might be thought today’s children would rather be shut away with their computers, community spirit in Mile Cross has kept young people coming back to the Phoenix Centre, in Mile Cross Road, again and again.
Trish Hewett, children’s development worker at the centre, has been involved in children’s groups for 27 years, and has been based at the Phoenix Centre since 2006.
She said: “It’s all about the children. It started off as just two groups, now we’ve got groups, the play scheme, we do trips and activities.”
As Mrs Hewett, along with volunteer Janice Neal, set up for another busy night, they pointed to photos from a recent ice skating trip which were being stuck on the wall - all made possible because of funding from Comic Relief.
Mrs Hewett said: “We’re expecting around 12 children tonight, but you never really know how many are going to come,”
And on cue the previously quiet building burst into life as children arrived.
“Around this area there is a bit of poverty,” Mrs Hewett said. “This keeps the children out of trouble, it’s something to do.”
And 8-year-old Keisha Hewitt agreed. She said: “If I wasn’t here I’d probably be on my phone which is boring, I’d rather be here.”
Madison Feavyer, 10, added: “I come along every night, it’s very fun, I like playing games and seeing my friends.”
As well as the evening clubs, the money has gone towards helping put on school holiday play schemes, organising trips and keeping the doors open,
“The children in Mile Cross deserve to have this,” Mrs Hewett added.
• Deserving community groups shared almost £40,000 in charity cash last year, distributed by this newspaper in association with the Norfolk Community Foundation and Comic Relief – and this year we’ve teamed up again. If your group would benefit from a grant of up to £1,000, more details will be announced on March 24.