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Queen’s Park community fundraising for a dedicated youth zone

PUBLISHED: 17:26 18 October 2017

Cllr Ryan Dalton inside the QPG Community Hub ahead of its launch party in September

Cllr Ryan Dalton inside the QPG Community Hub ahead of its launch party in September

Archant

Keeping young people safe is the idea behind a fundraising campaign to keep a community hub in Queen’s Park open seven days a week.

A new art wall designed by children from  the QPG Community Hub (Picture: Cllr Ryan Dalton) A new art wall designed by children from the QPG Community Hub (Picture: Cllr Ryan Dalton)

The Queen’s Park Gardens (QPG) Community Hub launched in September and is already a vital space for people in the area.

What started out with a few volunteers offering free weekly football sessions 18 months ago has grown into a comprehensive service offering sport and education activities from its Kilburn Lane base.

Cllr Ryan Dalton, of Queen’s Park Community Council (QPCC), the hub’s founder, is now looking for £5,000 or permanent sponsors, so he can expand the service.

He said: “We need to keep the centre going. A few weeks ago three young teenagers were coming back from swimming when they were chased by someone with a knife. They ran here to the hub looking for help. Thank God we were here on a late Friday evening. “Maybe one day it would be good to have a seven day service so there’s a safe place for them to be.”

He added: “As we get closer to winter we want to introduce a youth zone. I’ve had a lot of parents come to me asking about after school activities for their young children but there’s not much about for older teenagers to do.”

Among the activities at the hub is a homework club for under 15s who can receive help with key stage 2 English and maths lessons.

Free maths, English and science GCSE sessions are also offered with QPG’s partners Language in the Community and college students can get free help with their university applications.

Programmes including mother and baby yoga, and English as a second language for adults is offered as well as kickboxing sessions for £2 which will soon be offered to younger visitors.

Cllr Dalton, who launched QPG Sports Hub in April, said: “There’s an alcove behind the hub that we’d like to turn into a youth centre. Put in beanbags, a TV, make it something they can enjoy at the weekend. We are introducing a cinema club on a Sunday afternoon so teenagers can come and just chill out.

“We are also looking to put down some Astroturf and build on the sports hub.

“We want to ensure we have something to offer people of any age.”

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