Youth hub set to rise from takeaway ashes
A 12-MONTH dream to transform a disused building into a community hub where young people can socialise is about to become a reality.
A youth cafe, on Sussex Square, will open in mid-November following work by the council and local community to transform a former Chinese takeaway into an ideal spot for socialising.
Nazakat Ali, Swindon Council’s locality lead for the east, said the scheme began about a year ago after youngsters complained to him they had nowhere to go after school or at weekends.
He found a suitable council-owned building which required painting, some work to the electrics and a bit of a refurbishment.
Young people got involved designing the space – which includes a pool table and sofas.
“A lot of work has been taking place,” said Mr Ali.
“Residents and local businesses and the council came up with this scheme to deal with the local issue of teenagers having nowhere to go.”
“Making sure there are activities for young people is a top priority,” said Coun Dempsey.
“I have been happy to support this project with the other Labour councillors in the area.”
The council has donated the building rent-free for 18 months and has secured about £5,000 worth of sponsorship from the local community.
The authority’s youth offending team has funded a youth worker for 12 months, Swindon College has sponsored some of the work and City Electric has given equipment worth £2,000.
But Mr Ali is appealing for anyone with computer games or consoles, such as Xboxes or PlayStations, to donate the items.
“Going forward, we are hoping local people will form a managing group,” said Mr Ali.
“There is scope for other groups to use the space too.”
The youth cafe would open between 5pm and 7pm on Mondays and Fridays. A young mothers’ group had already approached Mr Ali about hosting sessions at the building.
“If any other community groups want to use the building they should give me a call,” said Mr Ali Call Mr Ali on 01793 464498.
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