WITH many youth clubs across the county facing an uncertain future following drastic cuts in government funding, a local church has stepped in to save the town’s youth centre.
Sleaford Youth Centre in Money’s Yard was facing closure this autumn but Sleaford New Life Church has come forward to keep it open.
Patricia Bradwell, Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member with responsibility for Children’s Services, said: “Following the substantial cuts in Government funding last year, all service areas have had to find savings and youth services is no different to the others. Despite these huge pressures, the council is still supporting youth centres around the county.”
In view of the funding cuts to youth services, the county council has been inviting community groups to become actively involved with the running of youth clubs.
In Sleaford the only group that came forward to take on Sleaford Youth Centre was the New Life Church.
Chris Huggins, New Life Church youth leader, said: “We did not want to see Sleaford lose its own youth centre. Community and volunteer groups were invited to offer their services to take on and maintain the current provision. New Life Church was the only group to come forward to take on this responsibility.”
The church has now introduced a new session at the youth centre which operates from 7pm until 9pm on Friday evenings. Lincolnshire County Council will continue to run the existing Wednesday evening sessions until the autumn.
New Life Church plans to offer a wide range of activities for young people, including pool, game consoles, table tennis, cookery, arts and craft and even taking up a musical instrument.
Chris Huggins added: “We have lots of exciting things planned but essentially we want to hear from the young people about what they want to do on a Friday night.
“The team of volunteers is looking forward to engaging with the young people of Sleaford. They deserve support and encouragement to engage socially in a fast changing world.
“We want the people of Sleaford to support us in the long term sustainability of this provision. If you are able to support us in any way then please get in touch; call us on 01529 413 063 for more details.”