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Sheerness youth club funded

Published Tuesday 19 March, 2024
Last updated on Tuesday 19 March, 2024

A Sheerness youth club will be able to operate for another year thanks to funding from Swale Borough Council’s safer streets project.

Vibe's Sheerness Youth Club has been able to put on two sessions every week for young people on the island to meet, have fun and receive support from youth workers since October last year.

The funding has enabled them to host two age specific sessions creating a safe space for both younger (8-12) and older (13-16) children, making for a tailored and effective experience for both.

These sessions run every Thursday evening, from 4pm to 6pm for younger kids and 6pm to 8pm for older children, and will be funded by the council’s safer streets project until March 2025.

The club, hosted in the Sheerness County Youth Centre, boasts a wide range of exciting activities including pool tables, table tennis, Xbox and Wii gaming, a radio room, darts, a DJ area, and even a stage for budding performers.

They also provide a free meal to the 40 children on average who come to each session, to make sure those who attend don’t go hungry.

The funding also enabled Vibe to recruit an additional female youth worker to support the young girls in the club, providing a mentor they can relate to and who understands the unique challenges and experiences they face.

The council's safer streets project aims to tackle antisocial behaviour, and violence against women and girls, in Sittingbourne and Sheerness town centres.

Funding for the campaign came from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund, after Swale Borough Council - through the Community Safety Partnership - worked with the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner to successfully bid for the additional resources.

Cllr Richard Palmer, chair of the community committee, said:

“Youth provision is key to reducing levels of anti-social behaviour, we were incredibly disappointed when KCC decided to make drastic cuts to their funding to charities like Vibe.

“That is why we set aside a sizeable portion of our Safer Streets funding, from the government, to help support this youth clubs important mission after their funding was pulled from underneath them.

“Not only is the club providing a fun and safe space for kids on the island, they are also offering free meals and invaluable support and mentoring from youth workers.

“This aligns with our projects’ mission of reducing anti-social behaviour and violence in Sittingbourne and Sheerness town centres.

“Providing funding to them while our safer streets project is active will take the financial pressure off the charity, allowing them to save and budget for their future."

Tanya Mitchell, the department head for Vibe Community Charity, said:

“Our club is run by a qualified and passionate youth team dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive space for everyone.

“It's great news that the Safer Streets initiative has provided the necessary support and capacity to continue offering this valued club despite the withdrawal of the KCC commissioned service.

“Sustaining these clubs is crucial for the well-being and engagement of young people.”

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