Hub of activity

I WAS interested to read your recent article about youth clubs in West Sussex. Once upon a time there was a £2,000 grant to us at The Shack and the services of a youth worker.

Although this has gone I want to correct the gloomy forecasts printed in your paper.

May I invite the editor in chief and district councillor Roger Paterson to come and visit us and see how we make progress with a little help from some good friends.

Our old shack has had a coat of pretty paint and the loose boards nailed back into place.

We have been bought some vital radiators by Chanctonbury Lions, and should soon have a disabled toilet with the help of a building firm introduced by Howdens.

The Rotary Club of Storrington has given me a mentor to help deal with the minefield of bids needed to bring our building up to a comfortable standard. As a result of a letter in this paper we have a modern toilet and basin waiting for us to redo the ladies facilities, and some more insulation to keep us snug.

The last chairman of the management committee left us some lovely modern double glazing in most rooms. So we move towards being a great place to use for your parties, committees and celebrations.

We have to charge for club nights now, but the £1 entry does not deter parents from allowing their young people to enjoy our facilities.

Tuesday and Thursday have senior clubs and earlier on Tuesday there is a Transition Club for Year 5-8 to support each other during the big leap from a local supportive primary to a huge secondary school. Now there is an after-school club on Tuesdays for the infant age group.

On Wednesday mornings we host a well-run mothers and toddlers group who moved north from the Village Hall. On Thursday morning there is coffee and fellowship at the Friendship Club for the over 50s.

A fortnightly support group has started for parents with children who have extra needs. They will share the knowledge they have acquired over the years and seek to encourage one another.

There is a real need to help young people get work. We are proud of all those who look for and keep part time work to fund their further education.

Perhaps our next project should be helping young entrepreneurs to use their skills to build a business.

We are able to pay our bills so far, but after next year it will be difficult to meet the extortionate bill for insurance cover. Why can the county council not give clubs umbrella cover? How can any club be expected to find £1,300-plus out of subs and small gifts?

To keep this hub of activity going we have done the painting, cleaning, run the clubs etc ourselves (management committee and three volunteers).

We shall fight to stay open and extend what is on offer. Firmly believing that the talent to support one another is here in the village, we defy our self indulgent county council to close down much needed groups like ours.


Chairman of management committee

Carpenters Meadow, Pulborough