Clubs join forces to help maintain youth services in Thornbury
IN LIGHT of impending cuts to young people's services in Thornbury, representatives from youth groups have embarked on a damage-control mission.
Following the local authority’s decision to stop funding seven of its 13 youth centres in South Gloucestershire in September, including Turnberrie’s in Thornbury, various clubs, volunteers and members of the town council joined forces to ensure that children and teenagers in the town were not left in the lurch.
With the help of the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS), they identified what Thornbury stood to lose at two "visioning" meetings last month.
Their ultimate aim is to eventually come up with ways to salvage what remains of local provision as much as possible and optimise youth work in Thornbury.
South Gloucestershire Council is currently inviting private or voluntary organisations to take over the youth centres it will stop funding in April 2013. If no suitable firm is found the town’s youth club may be forced to close its doors.
Town Cllr Clive Parkinson, who attended both meetings, told the Gazette: "It’s a response to South Gloucestershire Council’s decision to cut back on provision for youth facilities across South Gloucestershire, which includes the cessation of the youth club in April.
"It’s trying to galvanise the voluntary sector in the area to attempt to mitigate the effect of losing the youth club."
CVS works to identify the gaps in the voluntary services and helps community groups develop appropriate ways to meet the needs of their particular towns.
Youth worker Dan Potter, who is based at Thornbury Baptist Church, launched the Street Space project last year. The scheme sets out to rebuild lines of communication with disaffected teenagers in the town.
He said: "In light of the cuts to the youth services, with the support of the CVS we decided to get together lots of different people who are involved in different areas of working with young people. The idea is to drive a shared vision for the area.
"We were talking about the different needs in Thornbury, what was in existence already and what we could do to make sure that all the work that goes on at the moment is joined and does not overlap."
A third visioning meeting will be held later this month.