Since the County Council made cuts and ceased to provide youth clubs for our young people, local communities have taken up the mantle. To help with the transition, the Borough Council was given £50,000, of which £8,000 has gone to each of the 5 main areas which had youth clubs, namely Brockworth, Bishop’s Cleeve, Winchcombe, Tewkesbury and Churchdown. Of the remainder, £5,000 was available as an ‘open grant’, and a further £5,000 for training. There are now ten young people (16-18 year-olds) already signed up across the borough to be trained in youth work with continued interest from others. Unfortunately, the funding was only for a 3 year period and we are now in year two!
The ‘Youth Club’ provision is now delivered in a variety of ways; in some areas it is carried out by paid youth workers and volunteers , organised by the local parish or community groups, whereas other parishes choose to ‘buy in’ of the services of organisations like Young Gloucestershire. Most operate between 2 – 5 evenings a week and cater for different age groups, with some offering specific activities on some nights, like arts and crafts or sports. Some provide ‘outreach’ work where the youth workers go out to engage with young people, in areas where they like to congregate.
These local community providers are now organising a Network/ Forum for support and sharing of ideas. They will be supported by Tewkesbury Borough Council and other voluntary organisations providing support for youth services, such as the Gloucestershire Council for Voluntary Youth Services and Gloucestershire Rural Community Council.
Across the Borough, many other local organisations, such as Greenwood Therapeutic Horticulture, White Tiger Taekwondo and Brockworth Community Project, were successful in receiving small grants for Youth Activities and Health Improvements. All had to provide details of how the money would help those from disadvantaged backgrounds and all are monitored until the projects finish.
Of course many of these organisations need local volunteers to make this work so if you are interested in volunteering, or simply wish to find out more, please contact your local parish or community group or the borough councillor at: