Thriving Brackley youth club enjoys special visits after gaining attention for its great work in community
The weekly youth club, run by the South Northants Youth Engagement group and funded by West Northamptonshire Council and Brackley Town Council, recently welcomed South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom and the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Crispin Holborow, to their Friday night youth club held at Brackley Leisure Centre to take in some of the good work they are doing.
The youth club runs from 7.30pm to 9pm every Friday during term time and has been attracting around 70 children weekly. It is completely free and open to anyone aged between 11 and 15 years of age.
The club aims to provide a safe space for children where they can make friends, play sports, and learn valuable life and social skills. Some weeks the club will focus on arts and crafts and assist the children in making something, while other weeks football coaches from Brackley Town FC will pass on their knowledge of the game to the youngsters.
The youth engagement coordinator for the charity, Penny Embden, has recently been nominated for an Inspirational Women’s Award at the Northamptonshire Community Awards for her amazing work with the club. She said: "We run a tuck shop, we have table football, air hockey, table tennis, and a craft area where people can make things. We ask the young people what activities they would like to do and then tailor sessions around that, the other week the young people asked for a roller disco, so we organised that for them.
"We have different people from local organisation come in for demonstrations and to run classes such as the Brackley Morris Men, local artists and LGBTQ charity Q Space Northampton.”
"There are no youth provisions or youth clubs in South Northamptonshire, so we have gained quite a lot of attention for the work we have been doing. Andrea Leadsom visited us on our first open day of the year, and the High Sheriff visited last Friday (February 10) to look at ways in which they can help us, especially in gaining more funding."
The charity, which is looking for a permanent base for their youth club, also runs a club for 9-to-11-year olds on Tuesdays evenings at the Southfield Primary School in the town.
A new project named Skate Sundays, which sees portable skate ramps brought to the leisure centre car park with skateboard coaches teaching children and young adults tricks and safety, has also been very popular with the youth of the town. This project is supported by money donated from the community grants from the local Tesco store in Brackley.
The youth club and charity are strongly supported by the Deputy Mayor of Brackley, Sue Sharps, she said: "The Youth Club is the place to be on a Friday for the young people of Brackley. It provides a fun environment with so many activities.”
"Both Tuesday and Friday youth clubs are a credit to our youth engagement coordinator Penny, youth leader and our trustees and volunteers. I am grateful to those that have funded the project so far, and I hope future funding and volunteers can be found."
The South Northants Youth Engagement charity operates with a small team, so they are very keen to take on more volunteers to help run the clubs and activity days planned for the summer and also start to expand their clubs to include Towcester and some of the villages in the area.
If you would like to volunteer or assist the charity with funding, contact Penny at [email protected] or through the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SouthNorthantsYouthEngagement.