A pilot scheme to provide a youth club for older children in Bury St Edmunds is to start on Thursday.
Following complaints of anti-social behaviour across the town and a recognition of a lack of existing provision for teenagers, a night specifically for young people aged 13-18 is being set up.
The pilot will take place until Christmas from 7.30-9.30pm on Thursdays at the youth club, in Symonds Road.
It will be run by trained youth workers and will be free to attend.
Suffolk county councillors Sarah Stamp and Trevor Beckwith are funding the scheme with a locality grant of £500 each, while the Moreton Hall Youth Action Group (MHYAG) is donating the building free of charge.
Cllr Stamp said: “This is a great example of strong partnership working and through links with the borough council and police we have been able to identify a real example of where locality budgets can make a difference, by enabling this pilot to be run.”
She added: “Hopefully this will be just the start of a much wider project looking at youth provision across Bury. However it will only work if the teenagers we are targeting attend, take ownership and let the youth workers know what sort of activities they would like to see, so I would encourage everyone to spread the word and give it a go.”
Frank Warby, borough councillor and MHYAG chairman, said: “It’s a youth club for everyone in the town really and we want it to get used. I’m all for it.”
Suffolk Police, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the county council have also been involved in getting the project up and running.
If successful, efforts will be made to secure longer term funding.
Cllr Beckwith said: “Hopefully it will be a success and lead to a permanent arrangement to increase provision on the estate. If it is successful, I hope it encourages more local people to come forward, get involved and help make a difference. We’ve got around 8,000 people up here so there must be plenty of volunteers poised to join in.”
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