A new youth club has opened in Northampton, aiming to “rebuild” its surrounding community and offer enrichment to young people.
Launched today at Market Street community centre, the new club, called Northantsyounger@The Hub, will be fully open on Thursdays and Saturdays from May 8, offering afternoon activities and social space to younger children and older teens from the surrounding area.
Today’s launch invited local children, teens and parents to a day of cake stalls, raffles, face painting and a bouncy castle, as well as games and use of newly donated table tennis and pool tables.
New pool cues were also donated by Northampton’s Barratts Snooker Club, while Tesco in Wellingborough Road contributed extra food.
One parent, 25-year-old Maxi Browning, went to the centre where he used to play as a child, this time with his own eight-year-old son, Shaadi.
He said: “We used to sneak around the place because we weren’t supposed to use it, but if we had had a club like this when we were kids, the estate would have been a better place to live.
“It’s great for the community and will bring people together again.”
Northantsyounger @ The Hub, which has opened after nearly four months of planning, received funding from Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council and has been given full support by the Pemba Residents’ Association.
Organiser Angela Smith, who took along her own grandchild and nieces, said: “Today has gone really well but the success will be proved when we see how many people turn up for the regular sessions.
“As we generate more funds and get to know what motivates our young people, we will hold more exciting sports and events and, hopefully, some coach trips too.
“We hope to raise more money by hiring out stalls during our weekend sessions and we are also planning to hold dances and health groups for elderly members of the community in the next month.”
Events, supervision and health and safety will be organised in assocation with Northamptshire Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC).
NAYC representative, Jon Ford, said: “Our role here will be to work alongside our youth leaders to set up and support different youth groups.”
Chair of the Pemba Residents’ Association, Heather Murtagh, said: “A youth club like this has been needed for a long time and it’s great to see how well it has taken off today.”
Northampton Borough Councillor, Ifti Khar Choudary added: “It’s all about bringing the community together and everyone here has put in a huge amount of work.”