Worlingham youth club in search of volunteers

YOUNG people in Worlingham have been left without a place to meet and play with their friends after the village youth club closed because of a shortage of volunteers.

The fortnightly club, which was held at Worlingham Middle School sports hall, has not restarted after the winter, because of a lack of adult help.

Now organisers are calling for volunteers to come forward to get the club restarted.

Up to 70 youngsters went to the club, but the present volunteers have been unable to commit for various reasons.

The youth club started around three years ago when the Four Towns Bus visited the village but when the sports hall at the middle school was built the club started to use its facilities.

It is aimed at children aged between nine and 15 and activities include indoor football, table tennis, snooker, table football, use of a Playstation and outside games during the summer.

Parish councillor and volunteer Stuart Holman said: “We got a few volunteers, but we have never been that inundated. It is very difficult to get people to commit.”

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“We normally close over the winter months but in the last break three or four of the volunteers said they couldn’t guarantee their attendance every time. We had a couple of sessions where we didn’t have many people helping at all. We had to make the decision to temporarily close it whilst we look for more volunteers. We had an open evening but only three people attended that. We’ve got another three but we could do with at least another three more so that people only have to come once a month.”

Josh Youngs, aged 10, has been going to the club for two years.

“I like going to see my friends and play games and football. It is really fun. There is table tennis and pool and you can play on games consoles. We also listen to music.

“It is one of the best things in the village. I was quite sad it wasn’t there because I like to go there.” He said he had also made friends with new people through the club.

His father Paul said: “It is a really good place for them to go and meet their friends without Mum and Dad, but with the safely of having a place to go.”

He said that he and his wife would be volunteering.

Last year Worlingham Parish Council decided to pay for a qualified youth worker to work a few hours each fortnight.

Mr Holman added: “If we can get a good bank of volunteers we may even have enough to open weekly, but we at least want to get it back to fortnightly.”

“Volunteers do not have to do a lot. The youth worker decides what activities to do. It is really a supervisory role.

“The youth club keeps kids occupied. It gives them somewhere to go and socialise out of school hours. I was involved in the youth club and have fond memories of it. It’s a shame we cannot keep it going.”

Ideally the club needs at least five volunteers at each session.

“We are not expecting volunteers to commit to every session but if we had a bank of volunteers who could perhaps help out once a month for a couple of hours that would be ideal”, he said.

Anyone interested should speak to Stuart Holman on 01502 711490 or email worlinghamyouthclub@hotmail.co.uk