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This new year, volunteers and young people are feeling good about the future for Melksham’s leading youth venue, The Canberra Club.
The club has been open for two years now, with Young Melksham restarting youth activities at The Canberra Centre on Spa Road in November 2015, following Wiltshire Council closing the centre in 2014.
Now the centre is open five nights a week, with around 200 young people visiting every week.
Chair of the trustees, Jon Hubbard said, “We are really pleased with the continued growth that we have seen over the past year. We are now running five different youth clubs, working with hundreds of young people and continuing to deliver our free-to-access counselling service for young people.
“I am so proud of the whole team who have worked so hard to make this organisation a success. We are exceptionally lucky with not only our staff team but especially with the amazing small team of volunteers who come down every week and help deliver our youth clubs.
“Our focus in 2018 will be to look forward to 2019 when we will need to leave The Canberra Centre and find new premises, but we are working positively with Wiltshire Council to achieve this and, as has already been announced by the council, we are looking at a new site on King George V Playing Fields.
“Hopefully this will all be confirmed early in the this year and we will be able to start our fundraising campaign to raise the cash to build a new youth centre for Melksham. Obviously, we are sad that we will have to leave The Canberra Centre, but Wiltshire Council have always been clear about the long-term plans for the building so we always knew the day would come.
“We are seeing opportunities for the new youth centre, with plans to open a café during the day, making the centre available for users of the park, as well as providing a much-needed toilet for users of the skate park in the evenings!”
Young Melksham have recently introduced a new Young Leaders programme giving older members the change to learn leadership skills.
Youth club member Megan Winter (14) commented, “I enjoy helping out at youth club with the younger ones as it keeps me busy and I learn new skills. It’s also fun to see them as they are a very lively group!” Another club member Poppy Barrow (14) added, “It’s fun helping out. I have learnt some new skills in the kitchen and it gives me something to do in the evenings.”
Clubs currently running at The Canberra Club include:
• Mondays, No Limits SEND club for young people aged 13 to 25
• Tuesdays, Youth Club for years 5 and 6
• Wednesday, Youth Club for years 7 and 8
• Thursdays, Youth Café for years 9+
• Fridays, Disco Night for years 7+
Any young people are welcome to attend the club, although a membership form needs to be completed and signed by a parent/guardian. Membership forms and more details about the clubs and Young Melksham can be found on the charity’s website at http://youngmelksham.org.uk