Warm welcome for town’s new youth cafe

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AROUND 80 people attended the opening of a new facility in Brackley dedicated to the needs of young people in the town.

On Saturday, January 15 South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom cut the ribbon on the Brackley Youth Hub Cafe, the first facility in the town for the exclusive use of young people.

Ian Anderson, chairman of the organising committee said it had been a three year long project with major decisions taken by a group of young people.

He said: “During the opening I thanked the young people who stuck with it through the highs and the lows, they didn’t drop out and actually wanted to be involved with it. It was a young person lead project, encouraging them to take ownership and use it and look after it in the right way.”

16-year-old Joshua Kingston is one of the young people on the organising committee. He said: “It’s a safe environment with plenty of facilities for school kids in year 12 and upwards. The first night had a brilliant atmosphere with lots of new and familiar faces.

The Youth Hub Cafe includes six zones: a table top games area for games like pool and air hockey, an entertainment area with big screen televisions, a cafe/kitchen area for drinks and snacks, a learning zone with computers, a cosy chill out area, and an information zone.

Mr Anderson hopes the Hub will becoming a focal point for young people to hang out, do their homework as well as a place where they can receive help and advice on teenage issues. A notice board will also advertise other youth activities in and around the town.

Mr Anderson praised the long list of committee members, volunteers, churches charities, local authorities and tradesmen who gave their time and money to turn the old off-license in High Street into something attractive to young people.

Mr Anderson also thanked the YMCA, which as a charity has taken the lease for the Hub and both South Northants Council and Northants County Council which contributed thousands of pounds towards the project.

Brackley’s deputy mayor Theo Hayward said: “There was money from both the councils, things like that tend to be pushed in to the background. People are always quick to knock the council saying they don’t give enough help. Well this is something they are actually giving help to.”

The Hub is open on Mondays and Wednesdays, between 7pm and 9pm.

If more volunteers come forward the committee hope to open the Hub after school and on Saturdays. Anyone who would like to find out more should email info@thehubbrackley.co.uk.