New group secures future of Ashtead Youth Centre

Ashtead Independent Councillors have formed a new group to take over the running of Ashtead Youth Centre from Surrey County and Mole Valley District councils.

Lead by Ashtead’s Independent SCC representative Chris Townsend who initiated the idea, and village ward MVDC councillor Mary Cooper, the Friends of Ashtead Youth Club have taken over responsibility for the youth Club building in Barnett Wood Lane while also achieving charitable status.

Following Surrey’s decision to stop many aspects of Youth work in the County, a number of youth centres, including Ashtead’s were under threat of closure. But thanks to your local Independent representatives, local youth worker Richard Leary, parents Ian Parkinson and Glen Jordan and Gareth Evans from Rotary, the group negotiated with SCC over the past year to ensure the Centre remained open.

Taking on the building and responsibilities from SCC, who leased the building from Mole Valley District Council, has involved considerable work by the Group’s members as they needed to make every aspect of the building safe and secure, not only for the young people attending, but for other organisations who might wish to use the building, including the long-standing resident Kidsclub.

The group is now working in partnership with the YMCA for youth work - and the Youth Centre is now open on a Thursday evening to two groups - one younger and one older group. A very positive reaction from those youngsters attending suggest numbers will increase as word of the new arrangements gets out.

Over time we intend to expand that provision as opportunities arise to other evenings and potentially weekends but that is for the future.

For now we are thankful that the Youth Centre is up and running following and providing opportunities for our local young people to mix with one another, learn and enjoy the facilities.

If you want to know more about the Youth Centre please email YouthWork@aycfriends.org'