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'It is a nice place but there is absolutely nothing': Young people hit out at entertainment in town

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 April 2019

James Wolf, 21, has lived in Beccles his whole life and descibed the market town as boring.

James Wolf, 21, has lived in Beccles his whole life and descibed the market town as boring.

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More than half of people who responded to our survey felt that entertainment for the town’s young people needed improvement.

Nik Rose and other members of the Beccles Skatepark Committee at the old skatepark.  Picture: James BassNik Rose and other members of the Beccles Skatepark Committee at the old skatepark. Picture: James Bass

More than half of people who responded to our survey felt that entertainment for the town’s young people needed to be improved.

“There needs to be more for the young people to do with their free time,” one person said.

“At the moment they just hang about on the streets because there is nowhere else for them to go and absolutely nothing
for them to do.”

Earlier this year Waveney was ranked as one of the worst places for young people to
live, due to the average rent prices, employment,
transport as well as entertainment.

Caroline Topping, who is a Beccles Youth Champion. Picture: Nick ButcherCaroline Topping, who is a Beccles Youth Champion. Picture: Nick Butcher

James Wolf, 21, inset, has lived in Beccles his whole life. He described the market town as boring.

“It is a nice place but there is absolutely nothing to do in Beccles,” he said. “There is Greggs and Wetherspoons, and going to the river is nice too. But there is nothing
to do for young people.”.

In 2015 the Thirst Youth Club, held at St Luke’s Church was at the risk of closure after funding was pulled.

Four years on and the group survives solely from trust donations to entertain around 50 young people and educate them on sexual as well as mental health.

Earlier this year, Blyburgate Hall was also transformed
into the Beccles Youth Cafè in an initiative by the Beccles Youth Champions.

Waveney district councillor Caroline Topping, inset right, said: “We are hoping that more young people will engage with the café, but it is early days and we need to get the word out that we are open.”

As well as youth groups, the town has worked towards creating sports facilities such as the new 3G pitch and skatepark.

Skatepark community chairman Nik Rose said:
“I have lived in Beccles all of my life, and if you’re not interested in football or rugby there is very little you can do in Beccles.

“But as a teenager, everything is never enough – even if it is put in front of you, it is easy to get bored, it is not until you are an adult that you realise that.”

In 135 responses, locals claimed “the lack of respect from young people” and “young adults causing trouble” was their least favourite part of the town.

However, other responses listed “the attitude of older people towards the youth in Beccles” was an issue, and claimed there was “utterly nothing to do if you’re younger than 18”.

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