Banbury youth club proves to be a smash hit

Dashwood Academy Youth Club
Dashwood Academy Youth Club

A new youth club specifically for nine-to-13 year-old children opened yesterday at the Dashwood Banbury Academy on Merton Street.

The Tuesday club will run from 4.30pm to 6.30pm each week and is open to any child within the age range, not just Dashwood pupils.

The youth club has all the mod cons

The youth club has all the mod cons

The club has been in the planning stage since last summer and has been a real community effort with Banbury businesses such as Norbar, Spratt Endicott, dar Lighting and Plastic Parts Direct donating money to purchase new equipment such as a pool table, table tennis, air hockey and an Xbox.

Ruth Jakeman, business manager at Dashwood who organised the club, said: "It was just an idea to help children come off the streets and stop any antisocial behaviour so then I contacted loads of local companies to see if they could donate any money to set it up."

She added: "It's free and there will be a tuck shop where they can buy items."

Initially the youth club will be ran Dashwood staff but the school hope students or other community members will volunteer.

Wiff waff comes home

Wiff waff comes home

Amy Rogers, head teacher said: "Its open to all children in the community in Years 5 to 8. We are looking for volunteers for training and things like that.

"The reason we have done it for this age range is that there isn't really anything out there. All other youth clubs are at the age range from 13 so there'e nothing being offered for the younger children."

Leah Jakeman, a Dashwood employee and student who helped organise the club, added: "I have a Youth Work Level 3, a sixth form qualification.

"There's parks for younger children and activities for older but that in between age there'e not a lot to do. We have a safe environment for them to come and play, make new friends and we can bridge the gap between secondary school."

Young snooker aces take to the baize

Young snooker aces take to the baize

Dozens of children turned up for the inaugural opening which included food and drink supplied by sponsor Waitrose, who excitedly tried out new games or learned new skills.

Grace, aged nine, said: "I think it's really cool."