A charity that provides young people in Pulborough with a warm, safe place to go has employed a professional youth worker thanks to support from the local community, it was announced on Tuesday (October 15).
Ben Stoggles, 24, of Pulborough, a youth worker for Horsham Matters, will now run Pulborough Youth Centre’s (PYC) Thursday sessions for 13 to 17-year-olds.
David Jolliffe, the group’s chair, said at the AGM: “He now runs our Thursday club and has already given the place a more lively and professional feel, and is planning more activities.
“So I must record our gratitude, on behalf of the young people, to everyone who has given the centre financial help to enable us to employ Ben.”
The ‘bulk’ of the group’s costs last year have gone towards paying Ben, said Jane Roach, treasurer for PYC.
The centre aims to add a second session for a younger age group in the coming months and it is hoped employing the youth worker will attract more volunteers to help the charity for ‘one-off outings’.
Speaking about youth work, Ben said: “They are of a different generation they see things from a different perspective which encourages you to remain flexible in your mindset.”
“It’s a privilege to watch them grown up and know that you’ve contributed to a positive change.”
Ben is the second youth worker from the charity Horsham Matters now working in Pulborough.
His colleague Dan Jenkins was brought in earlier this year by the parish council with a broad remit to work with and for young people in the area.
Their introduction was prompted by significant cuts to local authority youth services.
Simon Strang, Pulborough parish councillor, who attended the meeting, said: “It is imperative that we keep young people on the agenda.
“This place is such a force for good, unfortunately young people are reported negatively and they do very good things here with Ben and Dan.”
He added: “Whenever funding cuts it’s always rural areas that lose out but there’s such a need because without the youth club there isn’t much for young people to do here.”
To donate or volunteer for the PYC, email firstname.lastname@example.org