Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey has given his backing to the town’s Zone Youth Club this week at the launch of a crowd-funding scheme to save the group from closure.

The club held a fundraising cinema screening at Burnham-On-Sea’s Ritz Cinema at the weekend and has launched a big crowd-funding campaign to raise enough cash to secure its long-term future. It follows the recent withdrawal of council funding.

As first reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com, the club – which is based at the BAY Centre in Cassis Close – was set to shut at the end of 2016 when its funding from the Town Council ran out. However, as reported here in December, town councillors temporarily extended the funding. The Zone Youth Club’s committee now aims to secure the future of the organisation – and Saturday’s film screening at The Ritz Cinema in Burnham-On-Sea was the first of several events.

Chairman David Sinclair, pictured here with the MP, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “James Heappey gave an inspiring speech at our cinema screening, thanking everyone for supporting the youth in their community and the parents who have taken up volunteer roles on our committee to run the club.”

“We would like to thank the 50 people who came along and bought raffle tickets, helping to raise over £160, which is fantastic. A big thank you goes to The Ritz for allowing us to host this event and thanks too to everyone who is supporting us – we really appreciate your help.”

“At the event we launched our crowdfunding site which is a way for anyone to donate money to the club for a reward, such as a voucher for fish and chips, will writing, hypnotherapy, massages, personal training or life patronage to the club.”

“Please visit our site here which is running for a month. The next big event for the club will be a concert with up-and-coming singer Rich Cottell on March 14th at the Bay Centre.”

Burnham’s MP James Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com why he’s supporting the campaign: “The Zone Youth Club has predominantly had to take fundraising into its own hands after the withdrawal of public funding. It’s reassuring, though, the Somerset County Council are going to fund the youth worker and to pay for the premises. It’s also great that the local Rotary Club and others have made grants to the club and the Town Council will do so hopefully too.”

“However it is funded, it is really important that the kids of Burnham-On-Sea have somewhere that isn’t home and that isn’t school where there’s organised activity that they can do and be supported in. Some kids do it for fun to hang our with their mates, but some others really need that support and that’s the real value of a youth club like this. Some kids will need it for serious reasons and that’s why we need youth clubs in our community.”

The Zone Youth Club meets at Burnham’s Bay Centre on Tuesdays from 3.30pm-5.30pm and is aimed at children aged 11-16.