YOUNG people have somewhere new to spend their evenings after youth workers set up a club.
The Focus Youth Group, in Lee-on-the-Solent, has been officially opened by the area’s MP, Caroline Dinenage.
The new youth club will run for three nights a week, two of which are run by the Gosport-based environmental charity Groundwork Solent.
It is based in Salisbury Terrace, and young people have worked hard in the past few weeks to decorate the building and make it their new base.
The project was thought up by a Hampshire County Council youth worker, Fiona Durrant, in her spare time.
She said: ‘Young people today have such a hard time with things like the Education Maintenance Allowance being cut and tuition fees going up. Having a bit of support from youth workers is really important and really valuable.
‘There’s nowhere warm and dry in Lee-on-the-Solent and kids need somewhere to go to have fun.
‘Young people in the area should have access to youth services.’
Sixth Form students from Bay House School, in Gosport, were invited to help paint the building to get it ready for the big opening.
As well as the youngsters who were there to mark the first day of the youth club, there were also Gosport councillors, Hampshire councillors, youth work charity Y Services, and the Lee-on-the-Solent Residents’ Association.
Councillor Graham Burgess, the Hampshire county councillor for the area, gave the project £1,000 out of his county council budget. He said: ‘There was a really good attendance and a lot of hard work has been done by Fiona.
‘I used my devolved budget to help financially and then I just did as she asked and all went well – she deserves the credit.
‘This will be a much-needed venue in Lee.’
On Monday, there is a club for 11 to 13-year-olds which takes place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
There is a group for people with special needs aged from 13 to 25 on Wednesday from 7pm until 9.30pm.
And on Friday the club runs from 7pm until 9pm for 13 to 19-year-olds.
Anyone who wants to find out more information about the clubs can call Fiona on 07795 696178.