A team of Burgess Hill parents are excited to be planning the launch of a new weekly Friday evening club in the town, that has at its heart a desire to provide a safe, accessible and exciting space for local year 7 to 11 children to enjoy.
Born from a shared connection to recent tragic events that have highlighted mental health and wellbeing concerns of local school age children, and a desire to provide new facilities for the town’s younger generation, the team are putting final plans in place for the launch of The Escape Youth Club early in 2020.
Discussions with West Sussex County Council have secured the use of the Park Centre building and facilities on Park Road, Burgess Hill for the club – which is in the process of being improved to help make the centre a clean, stimulating and comfortable environment for the children to use.
Many of the team members themselves enjoyed and benefitted from weekly youth clubs run at the Park Centre in their youth, and are keen for younger generations of children to have an equal access to the facilities that the Park Centre offers, as a resource left in trust for the local community to focus on its youth.
Karen Taylor, who chairs the team and is a driving force for the project, says ‘We want The Escape Youth Club to be a place where children can relax, be safe, have fun and just be kids. With a tuck shop providing snacks, soft drinks and hot beverages, Youth Club members will be able to chill out with their friends, play table tennis, pool and ball games.
With the help and support of other local community members, we also expect to be able to include a mixed programme of fun, interesting and informative activities to help develop skills and confidence, and provide access to information on some of the many issues our younger generation struggle with.
We are in the process of setting up a Youth Committee to make sure that their club provides them with what they want or need, with creative input to design their own programmes and activities, and help to develop a sense of community and participation’.
There is a lot still to be done, and the team are keen to reach out for additional volunteers to help support the club on the Friday nights themselves, as well as individuals or groups that would be interested in providing activities or sharing their skills.