Huge boost to Doncaster youth activities

Young people enjoying the dance class at Thorne and Moorends organised by Club Doncaster.
Young people enjoying the dance class at Thorne and Moorends organised by Club Doncaster.
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Doncaster’s youth centres could open more frequently under plans to transform youth activities.

A number of community groups are to join forces under the banner Doncaster EXPECT to try to offer more activities for youngsters followings cuts to youth services in recent years.

Organisations signing up include Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, Flying Futures, Club Doncaster Foundation, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, Doncaster Chamber and Doncaster Community Arts.

Under the plans, EXPECT will work with community groups and voluntary organisations to try to met the needs of youngsters by making the best possible use of their resources to give them better opportunities.

Peter Norman, in charge of the project, said increasing the number of days youth centres were open would be on their wish list.

He said: “Our mission is to work together to make sustainable improvements to aspiration, achievement and life skills of young people across Doncaster by making a positive impact upon their lives.

“We are committed to ensuring high-quality, youth-centred provision is available across the borough.

“We intend to develop our services to add value and support to voluntary groups and the existing council provision.

“Over the next three years, EXPECT Youth are investing in strengthening a community-based youth offer that provides access to a diverse range of places to go and things to do.”

But he said rather than just being a youth club, the scheme would be about giving youths and children new experiences.

A total of 584 young people took part in a survey of what they wanted, which includes such facilities as wi-fi.

They also asked for activities such as nail art as well as sports.

They said they wanted somewhere to go that had something to do every day at places which had food and were not school-based.

Activities on offer are expected to range from DJing to canoeing.

The EXPECT project plans to give youngsters the chance to use things like Club Doncaster’s sports facilities, and Darts’ arts facilities.

Peter Moffatt, chief executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, said the scheme would not be a traditional youth club model, but it would be led by what the youngsters wanted.

Coun Nuala Fennelly, Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “It is great to see so many organisations that support and provide provisions for young people, to join together to create EXPECT Youth. We all have a duty to ensure young people have sufficient access to positive activities.”