Young turn out to help launch after-school café
A NEW after-school youth café has been launched in an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Young people joined police officers, councillors and the Lord Mayor for the official opening of the centre at St Judes Church.
Anastasia Cutting and Sarah Coles, both 11, play table football
The café and games club is the first in Devon and Cornwall to be launched as part of the Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) project.
The national scheme is geared towards giving young people and teenagers a safe and fun place to gather in areas which have suffered from high levels of crime and disorder. Headed by former cops, the charity has helped drive down anti-social behaviour by as much as 51 per cent in other areas where ROC youth cafes have been opened.
Facilities on offer at the drop-in sessions at St Judes Church include table football, table tennis, a pool table and games consoles.
Matt Gorton, the youth and childrens minister at St Judes church, said:
“The has come about thanks to multi-agency work. The idea is that by working together we can help reduce anti-social behaviour and any other issues that are affecting the area. The best way of tackling issues in the community is by working in partnership.”
The ROC café is a drop-in centre for anybody aged between 11 and 18 and is being run as part of the church’s Fresh youth project. It opens on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3.15pm until 5.30pm and on Thursdays between 7pm and 9pm.
At the café’s launch event last week Lord Mayor Councillor Michael Wright cut the ribbon to unveil the new facilities. Neighbourhood PCSO Tracey Weston and specialist police dog handler Geoff Turner were also at the event, along with search dog Buddy.
The project has been brought to life thanks to a partnership between the Beaumont Road church, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Devon and Cornwall Police and Plymouth College of Art.
For more information about the café and other youth work taking place at St Judes Church as part of Fresh, please visit www.judes.org.uk/fresh.
* Picture taken from This Is Plymouth, 27 September 2012