Teenagers find shelter at last
YOUNGSTERS in Cheddar and Axbridge are finally getting their own much-needed facilities. Teenagers in Axbridge could be chilling out in their long-awaited youth shelter by the summer after the town council agreed on a site for it. And youngsters in Chedda
YOUNGSTERS in Cheddar and Axbridge are finally getting their own much-needed facilities.Teenagers in Axbridge could be chilling out in their long-awaited youth shelter by the summer after the town council agreed on a site for it.And youngsters in Cheddar could have their own drop-in centre by Easter, kitted out with pool tables, dartboards and a tuck shop.Axbridge town councillor Kate Browne said: "Youngsters are normally neglected in the community. There are groups for old people, mothers and toddlers, but nothing for teenagers. We want to give them something of their own and get them more involved in the town."Cheddar Local Action Team (LAT) is planning to launch drop-in sessions for a six week trial period at Hannah More Cottage in April.It is also asking youngsters to come forward with ideas for other activities and events for their peers.LAT secretary Steph Parrott said: "We would love to set up a youth club in Cheddar. We have enquired about funding for this at Young Somerset, a voluntary organisation that works with youth groups, but we were told there was no money."Anyone who can come forward with donations, volunteer to help out at drop-in meetings or help with fund-raising would be really appreciated. We hope local businesses and organisations will come forward, perhaps a fashion expert could come in and chat to the girls, or a mechanic could give tips on fixing bikes to the boys."The news comes as the LAT puts together a formal proposal for a skate park at Sharpham Playing Fields, Cheddar. Members are now approaching businesses for design ideas and sponsorship ready to submit a formal planning application to Sedgemoor District Council, through Cheddar Parish Council.Any youngsters in Cheddar who have ideas for events they would like see run in the village can email the LAT at firstname.lastname@example.org Sgt Peter Yensen, of Cheddar police, said: "Any facility for the young in Cheddar and Axbridge has to be a good thing. We have had problems in the past of youths loitering in the streets. Usually it's just a noise issue. They cannot say 'we have nowhere to go' if there are drop-in centres.”Axbridge Town Council agreed to site the youth shelter on The Furlong at its meeting last Monday.Teenagers from the town came up with the design more than a year ago and have raised cash to pay towards the £6,000 facility.The shelter will be made of steel with hardwood seating and a clear plastic backing, so people using the facility can be seen. It will have solar lighting which will switch off when not in use.Youngsters will also have their own internet cafe and drop-in centre in the church rooms of St John the Baptist Church after Easter. The council has found a volunteer to run it and members are hoping to run sessions for a four week trial period in April and May.