Burngreave’s efforts to keep kids off the streets have received a boost with the opening of a new Youth Club just down the road.
Situated at the Old Firth Park Library, the club is aimed at kids from age 8 to 18 and offers a variety of activities on a Monday evening.
The club’s reception area, complete with tuck shop, leads to a spacious main hall. There was a real buzz about the place with youngsters crowded around the selection of PC and TV screens, playing their favourite music tracks and generally having fun. The main hall saw a game of snooker reach its climax while there was also a game of Chess well under way.
Martin Williamson of Sheffield Futures says the younger generation have proved the focal point. “The kids have been instrumental in the development of this project, we need to provide constructive activities for young people in the area so this is a good start.”
Martin runs the club alongside Ian Wardle. “Ian has overseen the general development of the project but we tend to share responsibility of running the club. Its my turn tonight!” he said.
The project is being joint funded by Area North, Sheffield Futures and Chilypep. Martin says they plan to expand in the near future, “We have put in a bid with Sheffield Homes for more equipment and hope to increase our profile within Burngreave.”
There are plans to develop activities in the park during the summer months as well as providing a varied amount of fun and educational trips. “We want to give young people a say in what they actually want to do” he went on.
The project has been approved by South Yorkshire Police who have pledged to provide two community support officers for every opening. “The police have been great with us allowing their staff to oversee our sessions.”
The club is open on Mondays and offers the use of a cyber cafe, video games, snooker, table tennis and even a DJ table for the musically inspired.
Sessions take place between 5 and 8pm.