By Carl Jackson 10/08 Updated: 10/08 10:10
THE CAMPAIGN to save Rubery Youth Centre has been reignited.
Yasmin Millward, 20, from Rubery is desperate to convince Worcestershire County Council - which runs the centre - the service is an integral part of the communtiy and is urging people to back a petition to keep it open.
She launched her campaign last year when it was revealed the council needed to cut the budget for youth provision by more than £2million due to a reduction in Government grants.
Now the issue has resurfaced as from last month service providers for young people in Bromsgrove district have been told they can bid for funding. The county council has £125,115 to be distributed throughout the area.
Rubery Youth Centre opened on New Road in 1985 providing young people with a drop-in centre, as well as workshops on issues such as sexual health and homelessness. Since last year it has hosted 80 sessions with an average attendance of 30 people.
“The centre provides a place to feel safe,” Yasmin said.
“You don’t want to be hanging around on the streets. The youth workers have helped me personally in areas of life a parent or teacher wouldn’t have been able to - they’re brilliant.”
Peter McDonald, Worcestershire County Councillor for Rubery is backing the campaign.
He said: “The consequences of throwing our young people on the streets cannot be good for the local community and could well lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour.
“Cutting back such services will have a devastating effect on the community.”
Coun Liz Eyre, responsible for children’s services on Worcestershire County Council, said they had consulted with young people and stakeholders in the area.
“Feedback generally suggested a mixed approach some building based and some activity based.”
She added the future of Rubery Youth Centre had not yet been discussed by the cabinet but one option being considered is to combine youth and library services in Rubery together.
The proximity of the new ‘Factory’ youth centre for 13 to 25-year-olds set to open this summer at Longbridge is also being taken into account.
But campaigners say it is in Birmingham and has no connection to residents in Rubery.
To pledge support for Rubery Youth Centre, e-mail Yasmin at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the ‘Save our youth service (Rubery)’ Facebook page.
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