Chance for you to get involved in South Ward youth network

A NEW organisation set up to replace North Somerset Council’s youth provision in Weston’s South Ward will aim to engage and inspire children and young people aged from five to 25.

The body - named 5 to 25 - is in the process of taking over from the cultural hub which previously ran activities for young people in the area.

And meetings over the coming months will determine exactly how the body will put grant money back into activities in the community.

The hub has had its funding cut by North Somerset, but the people behind 5 to 25 say it will aim to go further than what was previously on offer in the area.

The group will aim to offer learning opportunities and activities for youngsters at risk of antisocial behaviour or underachieving, mentoring programmes and encourage arts and sports opportunities.

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It is expected to be granted charitable status in the coming weeks, and when that process is finished three trustees will be appointed.

They will then form an advisory board in May to identify local needs, advise them on strategy and bid for funding, including some of a pot of �250,000 made available by North Somerset.

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The board will be formed of local organisations which commission and provide activities for young people in the area, and community and young people’s representatives.

After 5-25 is granted charitable status, a community meeting will be called within the next few weeks where new trustees and members will have the opportunity to sign up and become part of the organisation. Subsequent meetings about provision for youngsters aged five to 11, 11-16 and 16 and older will then be held to highlight how money should be spent.

North Somerset has also asked the organisation to run youth work out of Weston Youth centre on a short-term basis until September.

Simon Stokes, a member of Weston Town Council who has been involved in the formation of 5 to 25, said: “This is great news.

“The Weston Youth Centre, which closed at the end of last month, and its youth workers provided a much needed and valuable service to the young people of south Weston, in particular those living on the four estates.

“I therefore wish 5 to 25 every success in its work to continue this valuable service and I look forward to helping it achieve this.”

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