Youth Zone sessions at Legion axed

By Rob George Tuesday 23 October 2012 Updated: 26/10 11:18

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Youngsters celebrated the launch of the Spa Youth Zone at the Royal British Legion back in April. (s)

THE TOWN's popular Youth Zone sessions at the Royal British Legion have been axed due to the venue changing hands.

The zone moved to the Royal British Legion in April but was plunged into uncertainty in August when the Legion's committee resigned and handed the keys to new owners, Cannon Royal Brewery.

And now with the brewery wanting to run the venue as a pub, Wychavon officials have had to pull the plug on the sessions because the venue will no longer have the right insurance to accomodate a youth club.

Provision for Droitwich young people will continue though a newly formed collective called DAFFY (Droitwich Action For Future Youth).

DAFFY have started their youth groups at the Heritage Centre on a Monday and Thursday and at a later stage will be running Arts sessions on Saturdays.

Youth facilities will continue at Westlands and DAFFY will run a service from the Youth House on a Tuesday and Friday.

Youth Zone co-ordinator Rob Mace, said: "It's a real shame that the zone will be forced to stop its sessions following the demise of the legion.

"It was always the intention that Wychavon would kick off Spa Youth Zone, with the long term aim of the community or third sector taking it on.

"With the voluntary section set to provide this service it seems senseless for us to offer a rival facility in the town when we’re certain they will do a good job.

"With the youth zone sessions ending, we’ll be stepping up our work in the town with the Wychavon Youth Bus," he added.

Equipment bought for the zone will be passed on to the Wychavon Youth Bus which has already run 80 sessions for more than 700 young people across the district in 2012.

Coun Tom McDonald, executive board member for Economic Development, Skills and Transport, said: "The advantage of the bus is that it offers a more flexible approach to youth provision and is more cost effective than centre based activities.

"The bus has worked with volunteers in villages to help set up local youth clubs in areas such as Norton, Bretforton and Offenham and we have received lots of positive feedback from young people about the project.

"As we are unable to continue with youth zone sessions, the bus will be making extra stops in Droitwich Spa but will remain an important facility for our rural communities," he added.

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