The future of youth clubs in Cadbury Heath, Hanham and Oldland Common looked a little brighter last week after South Gloucestershire Council’s Kings Forest Area Committee agreed a package of £68,000 of ‘Positive Outcomes’ funding. As we have reported previously, from the start of the new financial year in April, the Council will only provide direct funding for 6 youth centres in the District, one of which was Cadbury Heath. The others, including Hanham and Oldland Common faced closure if no outside body could be found to run them. The Creative Youth Network had expressed an interest in Hanham but had identified a funding shortfall while Bitton Parish Council has stepped in to save the Oldland club.
At last week’s Area Forum, it was agreed to provide an additional £15,000 to Cadbury Heath, allowing it to remain open four nights a week as it does currently and not two, as was being proposed under the new regime next month. In Hanham, £38,000 is being provided for each of the next 3 years to allow Creative Youth Network to take over the running of the club and a one off payment of £15,000 will be made to Bitton Parish Council to assist with its plans for Oldland Common.
Members of Hanham Youth Club in particular, spoke forcefully of their concerns regarding the possible closure. Eight young people elected to speak, relating their experiences at the club and the major influence it had made in their lives. One young person said he had suffered from bullying, but with support from the club staff he was able to develop as a person. Pastor Peter Cooke from Hanham Baptist
Church remarked on the good work the club had done over the years. Sandy Hore-Ruthen the Chief Executive of The Creative Youth Network, described Hanham as “The best run youth club in the West of England.”