Campaign to save Leominster's youth service is launched

Hereford Times: Youth workers, campaigners and volunteers are united in saving Leominster's youth service. Youth workers, campaigners and volunteers are united in saving Leominster's youth service.

A CAMPAIGN to retain “essential” youth services in Leominster has been launched.

The Hereford Times reported earlier this month that the town’s youth club was set to close its doors for good at the end of March if new funds were not found.

Leominster was thrown a lifeline when Herefordshire Council cut funding to youth services last year, and temporary funding was provided to help the voluntary sector establish services in the town.

But with money running out, local people are not prepared to see the service lost without a fight, and a number of fundraising activities are already in the pipeline, including an awards ceremony in honour of local heroes,to be held in August.

Danielle Barrington, pictured in the middle of the front row among others leading the campaign, said: “When you visit this place, you realise it’s a lifeline. It’s not just a youth centre, it’s a whole support network.”

Youth services also play a key role in reducing anti-social behaviour, according to community support officer Gareth Maddox, of the Leominster town north local policing team.

He added it is an “essential service that needs to continue”.

Will Edwards, co-ordinator of Mobile Youth Led Opportunities (MYLO) which has been helping to run the youth club, said current cutbacks in the public sector mean there is a greater need for communities to support young people.

“The open access youth work that has been provided across the county and especially in Leominster has been vital in providing a safe place for young people to come together in a fun, social environment and raise their aspirations and self belief,” he said.

Other fundraising activities planned include a sponsored skydive, charity auction and music night.

Votes for local heroes can be made on Facebook on the Leominster’s Local Heroes Awards Ceremony page.

To donate or get involved, email Danielle Barrington on daniellebarrington@hotmail.

com.

SAINSBURY’S staff will once again be doing their bit for Sport Relief. Ross store manager Alison Maddison and human resources manager Kirsty Jones have signed up for the Sport Relief Mile at Ross Sports Centre on March 23. Sainsbury’s employee Craig Emery previously raised more than £100 by organising a great eat off – eating a sixcourse meal of boiled pig trotters, heart and octopus.

n Runners in Leominster can also join in the Sport Relief fun by signing up to a run at Earl Mortimer College on the

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