A POPULAR youth club saved from closure by community teamwork has celebrated its first birthday in its new form.
The Mexborough Community Campus Youth Project was launched last June after Mexborough Athletic Club and Mexborough Life Church stepped in to keep the Doncaster Council-run Mexborough Youth Centre from being closed.
Funding was found from Doncaster Voluntary and Community Fund and the twice-weekly Blue Chair Youth Cafe sessions are still going strong.
A total of 230 young people are registered with the centre and an average of up to 30 attend each of the Sunday and Monday evening sessions, which run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
Under a partnership arrangement, Mexborough Athletic Club take charge of the youth centre building and the youth sessions are provided by volunteers from Mexborough Life Church and Centre.
The first birthday celebrations on Monday included an afternoon of youth club activites, food, music and outdoor games.
Doncaster’s Civic Mayor Cllr George Derx also visit the facility on New Oxford Road to mark the milestone.
Community project manager Steve Hunt said: “We’re pleased it’s been such a success story.
“Young people can come along a participate in pool, table tennis, PS4 and XBox games, crafts, art work, table football, music, videos and much more in a safe and relaxed environment.
“There is a tuck shop and provision of hot and cold snacks during each session.”
Despite the popularity of the club, the future remains uncertain, with funding due to run out this summer and trustees waiting on funding bids as they hope to keep the sessions going in the long term.
As well as the youth club, the centre is used by musicians for practice — who in turn help with costs by paying rent — and the church has an office
Mexborough Adult Day Centre planned to begin using the facility regularly on weekdays soon, Steve said, adding: “It is now exciting to see the Partnership vision for the New Oxford Road site coming to life.”
The partnership also oversees the running of Mexborough Miners’ Welfare Institute and Recreation Ground under the name Mexborough Athletic Sports Club.
The sports ground is the base for sports coaching during school holidays, as well as hosting football and cricket matches and providing a facility for sports clubs.
Mexborough Life Church and Centre also runs community projects including a weekly coffee morning at the Old Market Hall pub in Mexborough from 10am to 11.30am on Tuesdays, the Refresh community cafe at the centre from 11am to 2pm on Wednesdays, which includes a quiz, and parent and toddler groups from 10am on Thursday and Fridays.
Dates for the diary also include a fashion show on June 21 for the children’s charity CICA, while the annual football crazy tournament and summer holiday club will make a return during the school hoilday.
Trustee Philip Barker said the partnership was keen to hear from prospective sponsors able to help with its “bold plans”, which he said were a great way to “increase pride in the town”.
More details and sponsorship information is available at www.mexboroughlifechurch.org.