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New youth workers to tackle ‘challenging’ park behaviour

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A NEW ‘detached youth work’ service will be launched in the new year to tackle “challenging behaviour” in the King George V playing field and skate park.

The new service, funded by the Melksham Area Board, will employ two youth workers to provide cover on Friday nights  and on Saturdays.

Proposed by Melksham Wiltshire cllr Phil Alford, the project has received £10,000 funding from the area board.

At last month’s area board meeting, cllr Alford explained that the service will work with “vulnerable” young people, and that the service was needed for Fridays and Saturdays as there is a greater number of young people in the park at these times.

The project’s application for funding explains that the benefits for the community from the project will include, “Reduction in complaints regarding anti-social behaviour. Safer environment for young people to participate. Increased awareness regarding topical issues for young people, including drugs awareness and sexual health.”

Chair of the area board, cllr Jonathon Seed described the £10,000 grant for the project as one of the “better grants we have made all year”.

The new service will compliment and work alongside Young Melksham’s detached youth work service, which was set up earlier this year, supporting young people on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Young Melksham’s service was initially funded by the area board for a year, but cllr Jon Hubbard, who is also the chair of the board of trustees at the charity, explained that the service will continue into 2021 as funding has been sourced from elsewhere.

Cllr Hubbard explained that the service has “proven so valuable” and has “demonstrated its worth”.

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