Concerns about North Mundham youth club as funding is axed

THE team behind North Mundham village youth club is appealing for financial aid to prevent its closure after discovering funding is to be axed by West Sussex County Council.

More than 20 children from the village and surrounding areas use the facility, which is set to have its £1,200 grant removed from the beginning of next year because of the county council’s programme of cuts.

Club chairman Nick Atkins criticised the decision of the council which he believed was ‘short sighted’ as for many of the young people who used the village hall centre there were few if any other alternatives for social activity.

“This is a real issue at the moment with a lot of youth clubs having to close down,” he said.

“At present we have funding towards two youth workers for a few hours a week, which will stop at the end of the year.

“The problem is we really need that professional support – it is one thing to have Big Society voluntary work, but this is not suitable for the kind of work they are doing with children in which people need to be properly trained.”

He added he believed the club’s facilities were a valuable lifeline for many young people in the area.

He said a number of its young members had expressed concern about how the club would continue without funding.

Mr Atkins added: “The youth workers we have now have been very good and one of them has said they wanted to carry on after the end of the year, but we will have to somehow fund another.

“There is so much going on here beyond social activities – there are educational services including drug awareness programmes and links with the Police Community Support Officers.

“There’s more demand out there than we are able to provide and children come from across the area in Tuncton and Sidlesham, not just in Mundham.

“I think it’s short sighted of the council to withdraw its funding.”

If anyone can assist, contact Mr Atkins on 01243 532869.