Barnstaple youth club project in line for award

Two Devon-based projects are going head to head tonight (Tuesday), in the regional heats of a top National Housing Federation award. A Hastoe Housing Association project based in Plymouth and a North Devon Homes scheme in Barnstaple are two of three entr

Two Devon-based projects are going head to head tonight (Tuesday), in the regional heats of a top National Housing Federation award.

A Hastoe Housing Association project based in Plymouth and a North Devon Homes scheme in Barnstaple are two of three entries shortlisted from a total of 24 submissions for the Federation's annual What We Are Proud Of Awards.

The event takes place at Tortworth Court in Wooton-under-Edge this evening, and will see each of the regional finalists give a presentation before the delegates vote to determine the winner.

North Devon Homes' entry is entitled 'Young People have their say' - a consultation project which has resulted in a youth club in the heart of the Forches Estate in Barnstaple becoming a huge success, where other young people initiatives on the estate have failed in the past.


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The youth club is celebrating its first birthday this year and on average it attracts 25 young people per session, four nights a week and during school holidays and weekends.

It enables youngsters living there to enjoy themselves and feel safe, with activities aimed at addressing issues such as social cohesion, antisocial behaviour, social exclusion and the negative perceptions young people have of their peers and adults within the community. Seventy-five young people are now registered at the club and they play an active role in managing it, raising money, recruiting youth workers and mentoring younger members.

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Donna Baddeley, Director of neighbourhoods for North Devon Homes said: "We are really excited to have been shortlisted for these awards. This project is all about equipping young people with the skills and confidence they need to work with others; to make a difference to their communities and to be a big part of a cultural change in a deprived area where young people may not have traditionally been seen as socially and morally responsible citizens.

"The Big Lottery has supported crucial funding to the project to date and the young people have been working hard to make the club self-financing. To win the 'What are we proud of awards' would provide a fantastic boost to its future security.

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