Local groups to be supported to make better use of Surrey Youth Centres
Youth clubs owned and leased by Surrey County Council are to be opened up for use by local communities to boost activities available to young people. Surrey County Council today announced its decision to allow community, voluntary and faith groups to run youth centre programmes, in a bid to open up more services for young people and local communities.
Surrey’s County Councillor for Children, Young People and Families, Mary Lewis said:
“By entering into partnership with local community, voluntary and faith groups, we open up the possibility for more activity and social contact for young people in Surrey. The social impact of Covid-19 makes it more important than ever that children and young people have access to youth facilities.
“Where appropriate, locally managed centres will allow local communities to be more involved in the kind of activity that is offered at their own youth centres. It will also allow Surrey County Council to focus on providing support for particularly vulnerable young people.”
The move will allow local groups to either lease or use youth centre buildings from the County Council at no or minimal cost for the benefit of young people. Community participation is a key part of Surrey County Council’s Community Vision for 2030.
The County Council will continue to maintain and fund the youth centre buildings and oversee the arrangements in place with groups using the youth centres.
The move will allow for youth centre facilities to be used for other community activities, including for adults. However, their focus will remain for the provision of youth programmes.
Chair of Ashford Youth Club Management Committee, Nick Charalambous, said:
“The approach Surrey County Council is taking will enable us to focus on the Youth Centre maximising its impact on youth and the community they live in. It will enable us to bring like-minded people together who are best able to identify local need and access the resources to meet these.
“Having the use of the centre at little or no cost enables us to support the most vulnerable young people in our community and promote equality of access. In addition, it enables us to approach businesses and other smaller charities in the knowledge that all funding goes directly to the young people and the community.
“In Ashford, it will also enable us to coordinate offers around unemployment locally, using the centre as a hub to offer services that will mitigate the impact of unemployment on young people and the wider community caused by Covid-19.”