Church steps in to save youth services in Wellesbourne
CUTS have dealt a blow to Wellesbourne’s youth service – but volunteers from the village church are stepping in to bring it back.
Massive savings targets have meant that Warwickshire County Council is no longer able to fund the service, which used to operate from a youth club next to the village hall.
Luckily, teenagers have been able to meet at a weekly volunteer-run youth bus and cafe at St Peter’s church in Wellesbourne every Monday evening. And now those volunteers want to do what they can to bring the larger service back.
Church warden Stephen Nightingale said: “We feel, because we have been doing this on the bus, we are in a good position to take over the service.
“We would like to be able to provide a much broader service than the bus can provide.
“A youth service for Wellesbourne is absolutely vital - that’s why I am involved.
“There is nothing for young people to do in the village and nobody else has come forward to address this need. The church feels that we ought to step in.”
The bus and church cafe, which have been operating for around 18 months, offer young people hot and cold drinks, soup, biscuits and the chance to chat to others, while they can also play rounders and French cricket during the summer and chess, draughts and dominoes during the colder months.
The church parochial council is hoping to be able to run the venture as a charity from the existing youth club building, provided that the parish council is successful in its bid to acquire the land from Walton Estates.
Members also want to be able to fund a paid youth worker to lead the service, which ideally would include an after-school club and other activities and cater for children as young as 11.
Mr Nightingale said: “We shall be looking for more volunteers and people with skills to join a management committee.
“We are starting to put together a business plan and talking to the Charities Commission.”
He added: “Some of the younger boys and girls have started to attend our Sunday church activities, but we are not pushing Christianity at all with the youth bus. We just happen to be a Christians who want to give young people something to do and people to meet.”
Details for anyone wishing to get involved in the venture will become available once the church parochial council has made further progress with his initial enquiries.
In the meantime, the youth bus will continue to operate as normal.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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