Published: July 31, 2008
Launch of new Burnham-On-Sea youth café edges a step closer

Plans for a new youth café in Burnham-On-Sea have taken a step forward with the decision to set it up in the town's youth centre.

The Burnham Area Youth Centre, pictured, has been selected as the preferred location for the café, which could be up and running within weeks.

The project is being backed by Burnham police and other local groups as a positive 'youth diversionary activity' to prevent youngsters becoming involved in anti-social behaviour.

"The youth café will provide a safe environment to undertake activities, and promote a sense of well-being through enjoyment and achievement whilst encouraging respect and pride towards others," the project's Tracy Styles told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week.

"With the use of the kitchen area, we will encourage youths to participate in a basic food hygiene course and then self-run the café, creating basic food and meals for friends."

The project has already received donations of more than £1,600 to help set it up, and more funding is being sought.

"We are looking for funding from various charities to set up the youth café and the purpose of the funding will be to maintain and assist the existing club and youth worker to promote the café and help continue providing diversionary activity to prevent anti-social behaviour and under-age drinking," added Tracy.

"Included within the café structure will be the opportunity to learn and make non-alcoholic drinks. Police will attend and give alcohol awareness talks near to the school holidays in an effort to educate youths regarding alcohol."

"The Duke of Edinburgh Award and a basic food hygiene course will also be run at the café."

The funding will enable the BAY Centre building to be updated, therefore making it more appealing to local youngsters and encouraging attendance.

Tracy added that the project has been given funding so far from several groups. "We have applied for funding from various organisations and have received £1,039.88 from Operation Groundforce, the police and local authority's Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership. This money will be used to update the outside courts and provide a multi-purpose area of netball, basketball and five-a-side football."

"£300 has also been given by the Avon and Somerset Detained Property Fund for the initial set up of a tuck shop and a further £100 has come from Burnham Lions Club for the painting and decorating of two internal rooms."

She added: "£150 has also been donated by Home Farm Holiday Park for carpeting of the entertainment area. This has been matched by Burnham's S&A Carpets, who will be providing the carpet and curtains."

For the initiative to succeed the cafe's organisers intend to set up a Local Action Team, which will involve members of the community, and while the Chair and Secretary posts have been filled, a Treasurer is still being sought. Further details are available from Tracy at tracey.stiles@avonandsomerset.police.uk.

 




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