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Having Faith in our Young People

January 7, 2011 8:03 AM

The Burnside Youth Drop-In Centre, based at the West Denton Association, is a key resource supporting young people in the Denton area. And your local Liberal Democrat Councillor Sarah Cross is one of the people who put in their time free of charge to run this facility.

Set up eight years ago by Sarah, together with friends and neighbours, the club runs every Tuesday and Friday evening from 6pm - 9pm for youngsters from age eleven upwards. There's a regular attendance of 30 young people but with recent new users the demand is rising to 50 or more. The centre puts on a wide range of activities from dancing, pool and karaoke to outdoor trips as well. There's also an emphasis on developing life skills such as food hygiene and first aid training.

"Many of these young people are those that are often labeled as "difficult" by adults" says Sarah, "but the majority are good kids and respond to being listened to and treated as young adults. Our volunteer organisers put in a lot of work and they're respected by the young people who abide by the centre rules - or else! We offer an environment that is safe, dry and warm.

"People often forget that there are far fewer clubs and organisations for young people than there were for earlier generations, and far fewer people willing to act as volunteers. If anyone would like to join the centre as a volunteer helper, or find out more. I'd be pleased to hear from you - see the contact list for details."