Charities transform former clothes store into youth venue - The Stratford Observer
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9th Aug, 2022

Charities transform former clothes store into youth venue

CHARITIES in Stratford have joined forces to launch a new youth and community venue in a former clothes store.

Wellbeing charities Escape Arts and Lifespace Trust have co-created regular groups and activities with young people, aged eight to 18, in the former H&M store in Bell Court.

Its creation follows a series of outreach activities and consultations designed to shape the service, funded by a grant from Warwickshire Council Council’s (WCC) Youth Fund.

Popular activity suggestions included sports, creative activities including media-related, healthy eating and fitness, cooking and music.

And the charities say, since its launch in November, young people are already filling the space each week.

The charities are also planning to host youth-led creative exhibitions and events as well as offering training, volunteering and development opportunities, helping them find employment, and gain qualifications.

The group runs during term time each week on Tuesdays at The Ken Kennett Centre on Justins Avenue at 5pm to 7pm, and a youth cafe from 3.30pm to 5pm runs on Thursdays at H&M in Bell Court, followed by Youth Group from 5pm to 7pm.

Escape Arts CEO Karen Williams said: “It’s really exciting to be talking to young people about what they need knowing that the funding is in place to set it up and deliver it for 18 months.

“WCC’s Targeted Youth Support Team provides incredible support for specific groups of young people. We’re delighted to be working with them to develop services that any local young person can join.

“After such a long gap, we know that most local young people don’t know what a youth club is which is why it’s so important that they help us shape one that will work for them NOW, after an extraordinary year.”

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