Youth project gets to 20th birthday


ART workshops are one of the new attractions which promise a bright future for a Bognor Regis youth scheme.

The creative sessions at the Number 18 Project have been lined up by community artist Victoria Hulatt.

They are being arranged at its Waterloo Square premises as the project celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Dubbed Create Bognor@Number18, Victoria will be using her experience to enable the young people, typically aged 14 and 15, to enjoy themselves.

An informal opening saw them indulge in some splatter painting. Rapping workshops will follow.

Jan Cosgrove, the project’s acting chairman, said: “The fun seems to have gone out of a lot of youth provision.

“Young people just want to chill and relax. They don’t want people constantly on at them about succeeding. They want to come in and 
be themselves.”

The sessions will be held during most of the project’s opening times of 3pm-6pm weekdays, depending on Victoria’s commitments.

Jan said the art venture was one of the initiatives which made him confident about Number 18’s future.

The scheme has just entered its second month independent of county council control.

The council has put its efforts into the Find It Out centre on the other side of the town centre.

Number 18’s ten volunteers and five trustees have raised some £19,000 of its £25,000 annual running costs. It has two staff members.

Activities such as the sexual health clinic, counselling and advice clinic are carrying on.

The information shop –used by some 2,000 clients a year – is open as well.

The cafe area has been revamped and will soon start selling small snacks.

“This will be our celebration of the past 20 years,” said Jan, “to carry on with even more activities.

“This is the most exciting time since the project opened. It’s a new phase and there’s a real buzz about it.”

He is also looking at hosting daytime sessions for parents aged under 25 and young homeless people.