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Youth club set to celebrate
11:00am Wednesday 5th September 2012 in News
A COTSWOLD youth club that has been saved from closure by members of the community is gearing up for its relaunch celebration.
The future looked bleak for Shipston Youth Club when Warwickshire County Council announced it would be withdrawing funding as part of £3.5 million cutbacks in its youth services budget.
But supporters were determined to maintain the club, which has served the community for more than 40 years, and formed their own volunteer management committee to take it over.
With the support of Shipston High School, the committee has been working tirelessly to raise the funds and make all the necessary arrangements to keep the club open.
In the meantime a £35,000 refurbishment, funded by the county council before the handover, has been taking place at the club building, in Darlingscote Road, to ensure it is fit for the future.
The new era for the youth club is set to be celebrated during the relaunch event at 3.15pm on Friday, September 14, during which special guests including Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi and Shipston’s mayor Fay Ivens will be shown what it has to offer.
Rev Daniel Pulham, chairman of Shipston Youth Club management committee, said: “To have reached this point is a real victory for the community, particularly for its young people.
“It would have been very easy for the club to just close its doors when the funding was stopped and that would have been a real loss.”
It will cost about £12,000 a year to keep the club open and Mr Pulham said that would remain a “significant challenge”.
Support to date has come from fund-raising and the likes of Shipston Town Council, Rotary Club, the School for Females charity and the Government’s Big Society fund, while the club is in the process of becoming an official charity.
“We’ve had a lot of support and a brilliant start to our fund-raising, but we need continued support and do not want to rest on our laurels,” said Mr Pulham. “Becoming a charity should help and we are looking to identify some regular sources of funding to support us year-on-year.”
Shipston Youth Club offers two junior clubs, for year sevens and year eights, which meet between 7pm-9pm on alternate Tuesdays during the school term, as well as a senior club for year nines and up that runs between 7.30pm-9.30pm on Wednesdays.