YOUNGSTERS in Emsworth have no reason to be bored on a Friday evening any more.
The police, residents, local businesses and teenagers in the town have joined together to create EJC, the Emsworth Junior Club.
It’s a place for seven to 14-year-olds to hang out, enjoy each other’s company and play computer games and is based at the Syrch Centre, in Spencers Field.
The idea was driven by PC Claire Proudfoot, the Emsworth beat officer, who saw a desperate need for a focal point for young people.
She said: ‘It’s a long-awaited and well-needed youth club.
‘It is run solely by local volunteers with the support of the local police team.
‘Its aim is to give the local children a place where they can meet, interact, socialise, learn new skills and have fun safely.
‘We believe this club will help lead to a stronger community in Emsworth and give a greater sense of responsibility and cohesion to all those involved in it.’
The Syrch centre only had basic equipment such as pool and table tennis.
Bats and balls were donated by a volunteer.
And as an extra boost, Steve Baxter, the Chief Inspector of Hampshire Constabulary, gave £400.
Martyn Griffiths from Hermitage Housing donated £100, and £600 came from the youth participation team at Havant Borough Council.
Giles Babb, the landlord of The Blue Bell Inn, grew up in Emsworth and gave PC Proudfoot £100 to spend on equipment.
Lillywhite Bros and Co garage have offered to pick up the cost of the hall hire.
It’s been going three months and around 25 people attend each week.
PC Proudfoot said: ‘All the children are keen to keep the club running and have been encouraging the adult members of their families to come and help out and their friends to join in.
‘At the moment the club is being run by the kindness of the local community.
‘It’s a non-profit-making organisation and all money received benefits the club and its members directly.
‘We believe that the club will benefit not only those who attend or are involved, but also the wider community.’
Donations can be made to PC Proudfoot by calling 0845 045 45 45 or by dropping into the EJC when it is running.
The club is open every Friday, from 6pm to 8pm.
Entry is free.