Young shipbuilders help Westward Ho! youth

Joseph Bulmer

A GROUP of apprentice shipbuilders from Appledore Shipyard have come to the rescue of a struggling youth project in Westward Ho!

The youth project based at The Pavilion in Avon Lane Park Westward Ho! closed in April due to a lack of funds.

Since then youth workers and young people have been decorating the building and improving the park area voluntarily, in the hope that fresh funds will be found.

Four shipyard apprentices who have been on a work experience ‘skill swap’ from Rosyth in Scotland have been staying in Westward Ho! and learned of the project.

Youth worker Jane Elliott and Appledore Shipyard training manager Will Bowden came up with an idea to make a set of metal window shutters for a new training cafe that will open this month at the youth venue.

The aim of the cafe is to provide training for young chefs who wish to learn about cooking with local produce. Money has been raised for the training by the young people who attend the youth project to enable them to gain new skills.

The Pavilion building has suffered from a high degree of vandalism in the past and had fallen into a state of neglect. The metal shutters will add an extra secure serving hatch for the public to buy drinks and snacks while they visit the park.

“We want local residents and visitors to have a park they can be proud of and somewhere they can come and play tennis, crazy golf or just sit and enjoy the new garden we have created,” said Jane Elliott lead youth worker.

The Appledore apprentices have provided the shutters as a gift for the youth project and the cafe will be open to the public from Thursday to Sunday weekly throughout the summer, from July 21.