A ‘successful’ and ‘exciting’ Bognor youth project has been promised a £10,000 contribution by the town council.
Bognor Town Council pledged its support to CREATE, run by youth worker Keely Hardy, which the council is ‘keen to work with’ to build a long-term sustainability programme.
CREATE club leader Keely, from Brighton, began work in Bognor in April for the town council, for a six-month trial, through the Sussex Clubs for Young People (SCYP).
This led to the opening of the Phoenix centre and the project’s formation.
Keely said: “The project is going from strength to strength”
“On average we have 22 to 25 young people who attend on a regular basis at the Phoenix centre, 5pm to 7pm Wednesday evenings.
“The young people who are a part of the group are very passionate about creating vision for themselves and other young people in Bognor.
“We are growing by the day and starting to plan more and more exciting opportunities.”
In the recent Create termly report, Keely wrote: “The young people have taken part in a variety of small activities and also attended a very successful summer camp with SCYP.
“We have recruited a drama teacher to work alongside the young people to develop and create a drama piece for an event to be held in January 2019. This will be a showcase of all our achievements to date, as well as the meaning of Create and the impact they have had to the local community.
“With these activities, they are able to engage effectively and positively in their town.”
Keely said this allows them to ‘feel valued in their community’ giving them to have a ‘voice and influence’.
In a bid to secure more funding, support and awareness, Keely presented her plans for the project to councillors from Aldwick, Pagham, North Bersted and Middleton on Sea at Aldwick community centre last week.
She added: “It was a fantastic turn out. We had 11 or 12 councillors attend and they definitely appear to be supporting us to develop the group further, so we have a great starting block.”
After the presentation, a town council spokesman told the Observer: “Having initiated the project, the town council are pleased to see how Keely has successfully engaged with young people within the wider Bognor Regis area.
“The setup of CREATE, as an independent organisation, is a much-needed resource for young people and the council are keen to support its growth by committing to a £10k match funding contribution.”
Looking to the future, Keely said that the list of opportunties are ‘endless’.
She said: “This new venue has opened so many new doors and new experiences for the young people, we have had so many offers from local people that want to get involve and help it succeed.
“The young peoples have so much vision and passion to take CREATE further. We just need to money to do so, it is clear it is needed and it is working.”