Pocklington’s youth needs public support to help raise £40,000 for a new centre.
The Young People Count charity runs a centre and cafe which is attended by around 40 youngsters each week at the disused premises of the former Oddfellows Arms pub, on Union Street.
However the pub is now set to be brought back into use as a bar and restaurant as part of a larger town centre development, subject to planning permission.
Charity trustee Les Slow said it was never an ideal home in the long term, partly because some people felt it was wrong to draw youngsters into a public house.
He said: “Obviously they weren’t drinking alcohol, we were just using the space.
“But being in the pub has been a good chance for us to test our concept and we are now strongly aware of the fact that a youth centre is needed in Pocklington. Some of these kids have real needs.”
The centre is a safe environment, away from the temptation of drugs and smoking, where children and young people aged 11 to 18 can meet with friends, and enjoy a healthy meal as well as play pool and chill out.
The charity is now looking into the possiblity of contructing a modular building as its new home, ideally with a kitchen area, a stage, a classroom and space for table tennis and pool.
Mr Slow said designs and quotes had already been sought for a plan which could go before the East Riding of Yorkshire Council planning committee.
But he said the cost could be around £40,000, and that the charity was relying on government grants as well as support from the general public.
More than £3,500 has been donated in the last year by local churhes,while around 20 members of the public have set up standing orders of between £5 and £10 a month for the charity which is the local Sainbury’s charity of the year.
Mr Slow said: “We now need to reinforce public support. We’re not doing this for profit, but because there is a need. If people think that Pocklington hasn’t got its problems then they’re not scratching the surface.
“Every community has its range of people and being designated as not being deprived means that those who are struggling may not get as much support as in other areas.” If you can donate to the charity, or have an idea where they might find another temporary buuilding, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the applicants behind the town centre development (Henry Thirsk and Broadvale Development Ltd), said he would give the Pocklington Post the full story on the development next week.