Opportunities lost if no youth club in Holt

This Is Wiltshire: Holt Youth Club members Steph Pepler and Charlotte Jackson concerned about its future. Picture by Trevor Porter Holt Youth Club members Steph Pepler and Charlotte Jackson concerned about its future. Picture by Trevor Porter

Young people who enjoy Holt Youth Club say it will be missed if it has to close due to Wiltshire Council cuts to youth services.

Up to 20 teenagers aged 11 to 19 attend the club for two hours every Wednesday, under the supervision of two Wiltshire Council youth workers and several volunteers.

Steph Pepler, 17, has been going to the club since 2008 and said: “I look forward to going. The club allows you to get away from everything.

“It is something to do. There is nothing to do in Holt.

“I either stay at home or go to Trowbridge but public transport is rubbish and expensive.

“We fill in sheets every week about our personal goals and what we hope to achieve, so we can look back on them.”

Holt Youth Club is run by Wiltshire Council and Broughton Gifford & Holt Youthwork Project, a charity formed in 1997.

It is a place for young people to socialise, be involved in group discussions and take part in activities such as cooking, art, dance, and sports.

David Hill, 20, attended the club throughout his teenage years and said: “It keeps people out of trouble.

“When I was going through my exams and was stressed, it was somewhere I could take my mind off things.”

Charlotte Jackson, 18, who has attended the club for seven years, said: “You get the opportunities here that you don’t at school. We have been to places like Thorpe Park and Splashdown.

“It is something the community relies on. It will be a loss if it closes. We need a charity fundraiser to keep it open.”

Alan Fox, chairman of the youthwork project, said: “Many young people don’t belong to other organisations. We offer that outlet and if you don’t have that, young people will push boundaries.

“I believe in talking. You don’t alienate young people; you talk to them and work alongside them.”

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