A popular Glendale youth service is appealing for new trustees and volunteers to help take it forward.
The Wooler Drop-In has been providing a warm and safe environment for young people aged 13+ to meet and hang out for over a decade.
Doors at the Drop-In Centre on the high street are open three evenings a week from 7-9pm, with between 20 and 30 young people spending time there every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. A specialist worker provides drug and sex education, as well as dealing with any problems the young people may have.
“They need that because it’s rural here, and there isn’t the same access to those services,” explains chair of trustees, Guy Richardson.
“They drop in to the centre but we also do other activities away from the centre too, like go to the ice rink or the big skate park at Whitley Bay. The staff sit them down and ask what they want to do.”
The drop in, which currently has 83 members, employs four part time staff and is mainly funded by the Big Lottery, as well as community support. It costs between £25-30,000 a year to run - money well spent as far as the young people are concerned.
Fourteen-year-old Bee, who recently moved to Wooler, has made friends at the drop-in, and spends time there every evening it’s open. “I come down for the crack,” she says. “When it’s not on there’s nothing to do.”
“I’ve been coming for about three years,” adds Rhiann, 15. “If I wasn’t here I’d probably be hanging round the streets getting told off by oldies!”
Others use the centre to get creative. Kyle (14) and Michael (16) are aspiring MCs who raised the money, through community schemes and the Key Fund, to buy the drop-in digital mixing decks. They practice at the centre whenever they get the chance. “There’s not many places you can go to do this,” Kyle explains.
The Drop-In has a board of eight trustees who are appealing for anyone interested in touch. “If you want to become involved, either as a volunteer to work with the kids, or as a trustee, we would love to hear from you,” Guy said. “We need new blood to come in with fresh ideas to take it forward.”
•For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01890-882387.