Money left over from food festival funds youth club

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YOUNG people in Emsworth have a new youth club thanks to the people behind the town’s food festival.

Emsworth Food Festival was a huge success with tens of thousands of people descending on the town for the annual event.

But it got too big to be able to run safely and the last one took place in 2007.

The funds left over were poured into a community trust which has been used to set up a youth club targeted at pupils in years 10 and 11 from local schools which opens Friday.

Lulu Bowerman is a former director of the food festival and a member of the Community Trust, one of the organisations behind the new youth club which has been two years in the planning.

She said: ‘There is another youth club but that only goes up to year nine.

‘We did a lot of work with young people in Emsworth and discovered that if you were 14 or over, and you either sailed or had the money to do other activities there wasn’t much to do around here.

‘We have a fantastic team on board and a really great programme of activities in the summer.

‘What we want to do is get them outdoors. So perhaps they will go kayaking, or maybe camping.

‘The aim is to get them involved in community events like St George’s Day and the markets.

‘And there is going to be so much happening next year during the Olympics – there will be lots of opportunities for them to get involved in projects.’

Enough money has been put into the project to keep it running for two years.

Other organisations which have helped set up the youth club are Emsworth Community Association and Havant Borough Council’s community development team.

It will be run by the charity Youth Options which has had significant success in supporting, developing and engaging young people.

Mrs Bowerman added: ‘We hope that the club will go from strength to strength.’

The club will be every Friday from 7pm to 9pm at Emsworth Community Centre, behind St James Church. Entry is £1.

It is hoped it will be well used by local youngsters and there will be a good turnout for Friday’s opening.