Youth centre hit by funding blow

Youth workers outside Stanleys.

Youth workers outside Stanleys.

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A VITAL youth centre for troubled kids in the West End of Morecambe needs your help.

Stanley’s Youth and Community Centre is a popular place for local children to go after school and at weekends, where they can meet other kids, play music, football and other games, and learn important life skills.

But the failure of a renewed bid for £40,000 of Big Lottery funding has left youth workers fearing the centre could be under threat.

The centre does not receive any membership income and is entirely reliant on external funding to pay staff wages and rent.

“The money from the Big Lottery could have sustained us for another year,” said Richard French, senior youth worker.

“We could get some more funding and everything could change but right now the picture is not clear.” Stanley’s, run by youth and community development voluntary organisation Connect Engage Empower and Participate (CEEP), has 30 staff and up to 60 young people on its books.

The centre opened on Stanley Road in 2007 and became a youth centre the following year.

Aimed at young people aged eight and over, the venue is open from Monday to Friday from 3pm to 6pm, and opens later twice a week.

The spacious building houses a music rehearsal room in the loft and several common rooms where young people can paint, draw, play on the Wii, learn dance or play table tennis, or learn about personal and social responsibility.

“We’re in an area that’s been recognised as one of the Government’s areas of deprivation,” said Richard.

“We have to deal with some challenging behaviour.

“A lot of the kids are at the age where they are experimenting with drink and drugs. Some come from backgrounds where alcohol and drug abuse is an issue.

“The kids have certain attitudes and beliefs that they regurgitate from their parents. Some of it is dangerous stuff.

See The Visitor (13-03-12) for full story.