Published:
November 30, 2016
'Don't shut down our youth club' - Burnham group's plea over funding

Members of a Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge youth club - which is set to close at the end of this year due to a lack of funding - have appealed for help to keep it running.

As first reported here last week, The Zone Youth Club at Burnham's BAY Centre has been successfully running for over four years - however it's set to shut at the end of December after its funding from the Town Council stopped.

Denise Emery, Burnham and Highbridge Town Council Clerk, told Burnham-On-Sea.com that the Council is "not shutting the door" on the club but said the £10,000 annual cost of running it is too high for the council on its own.

Jayne Lilley said: "I have spoken to some of the parents of children at the Zone Youth Club and they are really keen to do whatever they can to save the club."

"Members of the Town Council and the Rural Youth Project have been invited to the club's Christmas party on 13th December where they will be able to see at first hand what an amazing time the children have and what a wonderful job Vic, the leader, does for the children."

"Thanks go to all the parents for their response and support. We hope the future of the club will be secured for children."

She added that the parents are setting up a Facebook page called the Zone youth club and would love for parents to join it.

Denise Emery, Burnham and Highbridge Town Council Clerk, said: "At the beginning of the year the numbers of attendees at the club were very low. SCC Youth services, the Clerk and Somerset Rural Youth Project met and worked on service provision and numbers required to continue with the Youth Club. An agreement was reached that the Town Council would pay for half the year and see if the numbers increased."

"The numbers have increased, but unfortunately Somerset Rural Youth Project have lost funding and the cost to the Town council was set to double to £10k per annum. The Town Council reluctantly concluded this did not offer best value, and that the service would have to stop at Christmas."

"However the Town Council is not shutting the door, it is looking for other providers who can provide a qualified Youth worker to deliver not only fun and games, cooking and life skills, but support to the young people who attend."

"The Town Council is currently balancing next year’s budget, part of which is a £45k grant pot, which this year has given out funds of £17,350 to seven groups that provide support for clubs, or wellbeing or other youth based services."

Vic Windsor, the youth club's leader, said the children were all "very upset" when she broke the news to them about the closure.


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