WESTBURY Youth Development Centre has seen a dramatic rise in the number of young people using the centre.
Around 520 young people are currently using the centre, around double the figure from eight months ago.
Staff at the centre put the success down to a more proactive approach in getting out to the schools and organisations in the community, while working hard to make sure that all young people are included equally.
Sally Willox, youth development co-ordinator said, “At the moment we’re engaging with about 520 young people across evenings and weekends. It’s been a big increase over the last eight months. We previously had around 250 on average, so it’s pretty much doubled. On an average week, we have around 180 young people.
“Over the last year we’ve worked really hard to get to schools and let them know what we’re here for. We’ve changed the outlook and put a lot of work into profiling the centre. Once they come once, they come again!”
Sally added the increase in numbers was thanks in part to a busy schedule of activities over the summer holidays. Alongside sports and activities days there were trips out to Thorpe Park, residential trips, cinema trips, and culture trips to Bath.
As the school year continues, the centre has plenty of projects and events in the pipeline. Some of the young people are currently looking at turning one of the rooms into a multi-media room, while others are recycling old bikes to make new ones.
The next event is a Halloween event which will showcase youth bands on Wednesday 27th October at the Laverton. Young people are invited to enter their bands by calling Sally on 07768 965 785, while those aged between 13 and 17 are welcome to just turn up at the event, which runs from 7.45pm-10.15pm. There will be prizes for fancy dress and a non alcoholic cocktail bar, and entry is free.