Plans to form a new youth club on a Lynn estate have been unveiled – and residents are being urged to get involved.
Community groups on the Fairstead estate have teamed up with the West Norfolk Youth Advisory Board (YAB) for the project, which it is hoped could be operational later this year.
It is hoped that activities will take place at the estate’s community centre and multi-use games area.
The project has been developed over several months, following discussions between the YAB and representatives of The King’s Glory Church and the Fairstead Community Shop, and a survey conducted through the estate’s primary school.
The YAB is led by a group of young commissioners, aged 11 to 19 or up to 25 for people with a disability, which works with professionals on issues of concern to young people.
Its annual consultation, of more than 1,000 young people in the borough, saw a third of respondents say a lack of activities was a problem in their area.
Officials say the survey results emphasised the need for more spaces for young people to socialise safety and take part in positive activities.
It’s thought there hasn’t been a youth club on Fairstead for at least three years and Emma Brock, from the community shop, said restoring a youth club was one of the first things she wanted to do when the shop opened.
The shop has been giving out emergency food parcels for families affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus and she believes a new facility is urgently needed.
She said: “Everything has been taken away. There’s just the parks. There’s nowhere for them to go, nothing for them to do.
“It will keep the kids off the streets, give them something to do and we’ve even discussed doing some work experience at the shop, really getting out to them and letting them now they haven’t been forgotten.”
Pastor Ola Adegoke, from the church, hopes the new project will help to forge stronger community links.
He said: “We want people from the community as well as the church to be involved. Both parts will benefit from the collaboration.”
Although funding applications are currently being worked on, it is hoped that the new club could begin to operate as early as this summer, if the coronavirus situation allows.
At present, it is hoped the club will run on Tuesday evenings with two sessions: one for 8-11 year olds and one for 11-16 year olds.
Youth worker Roger Partridge said: “The first task is to formalise a club committee and for that to happen we need more adults to come forward.
“Once the committee is formed and a bank account opened we can move to access grants and be in a good position to start the club as soon as possible after the lockdown.
“We’ll also need some volunteers to take a turn in staffing the club once it starts.”
Anyone who is interested in getting involved should email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07736 561973 for more details.