Youth club’s joy at award

Mayor David Gooch with Sheringham Fairtrade group Brenda Smith, Sheringham WI president Liz Withingt

Mayor David Gooch with Sheringham Fairtrade group Brenda Smith, Sheringham WI president Liz Withington and twinning association chairman Evelyn Meakin. Picture: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

A youth club which provides a safe haven for youngsters and is going from strength to strength has won an award.

The Sheringham Youth Zone is based at Sheringham Community Centre and provides children aged 10-16 with a place where they can get together with friends, meet new people and take part in activities of their choice.

It runs on Friday evenings from 6pm -9pm and regularly has 80 plus young people attending.

In recognition of its hard work the club and its leaders have recently been given a community award from Sheringham Town Council.

Club founder Julie Chalmers said everyone was overjoyed with the award and they are dedicating it to one of their long-serving volunteers nicknamed 'Jumbo' who passed away recently.

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She also praised the town council and its members for their involvement with the club.

She said: 'They have really come alongside us in terms of the youth work we do. The mayor and former mayor come in and take part in activities such as table tennis.'

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David Gooch, current mayor of the town, said and particularly his predecessor Patricia Brooks had paid a number of visits to the youth centre.

He said; 'It is a very useful resource It is in the right place where there are a large number of young people and it gives them somewhere to go on a Friday night.'

The club was set up in 2013 following a campaign by a group of local youngsters, who were not users of the local skatepark and wanted somewhere else to safely meet and socialise.

Their efforts impressed the town council which provided more than £3,000 left over from the old youth centre to get the venture off the ground.

Mrs Chalmers, who herself is a mother of three, together with close friends, formed a committee made up of local parents, teenagers and district councillor for Sheringham, Brain Hannah.

The aim of the club is to be accessible to all children. The club also has its own kids committee, encouraging the children to take ownership of and responsibility for the youth club and make it their own.

Adults with specific skills and expertise also visit to teach the children new skills such as sport, drama, arts, business and first aid.

Activities at the club, which are decided on by the children, include a tuck shop, table tennis, air hockey, music and art activities.

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Contact the Sheringham Youth Zone via its Facebook page, by emailing or calling Mrs Chalmers on 07772737862.

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