A NEW youth drop-in centre is set to open in Uttoxeter this month after organisers were successful in their bids for vital grants.
Organisers applied for grants from the Neighbourhood Development Fund to help set-up the centre and they have received positive news from East Staffordshire Borough Council over their main bid for funding.
That means it is now full steam ahead for the venture, which is setting up home at Uttoxeter Pentecostal Church, in High Street, and volunteers have been completing their training in preparation for the centre’s opening.
Mary Dodgson, the driving force behind the drop-in centre and now treasurer of its committee, said it’ was now all systems go.
She said: “We are opening this month. The volunteers are doing their CRB checks and they were given their induction packs at our meeting at the fire station.
“They are starting to get to know each other and we will all be going round to the Pentecostal church soon to meet with them.
“We have got some grant money now which will help us get started and then it is all about doing fund-raising to keep it running.
“We have to fund-raise as we can’t keep it going without doing that, but we will do that naturally as well through membership fees and having food on sale.” The main aim of the youth drop-in centre is to give young people somewhere safe and warm to hang out and socialise but some structure is needed to meet with guidelines.
Ms Dodgson said: “We have laid out some plans but as a drop-in centre, it is mostly about social interaction for the young people.
“When we first get there the young people will need to set up a committee so they can do fundraising and decide what stuff they want to be doing. There will also be a tuck shop and a kitchen there.
“The young people will have to be members and will get a membership card and have to sign in and out.
“That’s important as doing research on drop-in centres, that can be an issue when you are locking up or if there was a fire and you needed to know if the children are there.
“We are also going to be as green as possible.
But the most important rule is that the young people must have fun.”