Charity goes ‘back to the drawing board’

Young People Count trustee Les Slow near the site on West Green where the charity had hoped to build a new centre.

Young People Count trustee Les Slow near the site on West Green where the charity had hoped to build a new centre.

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A charity’s plans to build a new youth centre in Pocklington are now “up in the air.”

Young People Count, which supports young people aged 11 to 18 in Pocklington and the surrounding area, was hoping to install a modular building near the skatepark on the Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field, on West Green.

The charity reached an agreement with Pocklington Town Council at its meeting on 18 March to install a temporary facility on the field for a period of 12 months, during which time the council would work with closely with East Riding Council to find a permanent site.

However, the charity has realised that it would not be able to afford to build a temporary facility for just a year.

One of the trustees, Les Slow, said: “To install it would cost £10,000 and to remove it would cost £10,000.

“It just doesn’t work as a concept, we are back to the drawing board.

“It’s all up in the air again.”

He added: “We really did want to be by the skatepark but that is proving to be very difficult. We are grateful for their {town council] support.”

Young People Count is now planning to approach East Riding Council to ask for help with the charity’s predicament.

Trustees of the charity met with East Riding Council’s leader, councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, and the authority’s chief executive Nigel Pearson, before Young People Count moved into its current home, at the former Oddfellows Arms pub, on Union Street.

This eventually led to the charity receiving a grant of £2,000 in April last year.

Mr Slow said: “We have found there is a real need [for a youth centre].

“There are a lot of youngsters who have enjoyed meeting us somewhere safe and warm and have nowhere else they can go. A place they can drop-in and meet their friends. Parents know where they are and that they are safe.”

Young People Count has been running a centre, which is attended by around 40 youngsters each week, at the former Oddfellows Arms pub since May 2014. However, the pub looks set to be brought back into use as a bar and restaurant as part of a larger town centre development, and the charity’s last day at the venue is 16 May.

Mr Slow says Young People Count is aiming to hold one or two events each week during the summer on West Green to give the youths of Pocklington somewhere safe to socialise.

Young People Count is run by a team of trustees and volunteers. If you would like to become a volunteer for the charity, email trustee Marianne Lownsborough at ypcount@gmail.com or call her on 07910 187028.