£5m youth centre packs major punch in Doncaster

Youth Centre at Tom Hill Denaby
Youth Centre at Tom Hill Denaby
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IT was once where Doncaster boxing champion Jonjo Irwin trained.

But now Tom Hill Youth Club has re-opened and it’s pretty much unrecognisable from the building used by the fighter on his way to becoming British Champion.

There is still a boxing ring, but the old building has gone to make way for the modern site, part of a £5 million youth centre redevelopment project which has also seen a new youth centre opened in Bentley.

But Jonjo returned to his old stomping ground to see the site re-opened this week, under the name of Tom Hill Young People’s Centre.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was performed by 92-year-old Margaret Mason who lives nearby and worked at the old Tom Hill Youth Centre from 1965 to 1972.

She said: “I hope all the young people enjoy the new centre and all it has to offer.”

The centre includes a boxing club, fully equipped gym with sauna, a multi-use games area, a modern multi-media room, a dance studio, café and a clinic where young people can receive advice.

Youngsters have played a role in designing the new centre, having been involved in the initial planning and design work and making decisions on what services will be included.

They are promoting the facilities and will also be expected to help run services.

Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies, also turned out for the opening of the centre, built under a scheme called Myspace.

He said: “The opening of this cutting edge centre gives the young people a place they can proudly call their own. They will have somewhere to go and meet friends, have fun, learn new skills and receive support. Its wide range of facilities and extensive programme of activities will offer something for young people and the whole community to enjoy.”

Coun Christine Mill, ward councillor for Denaby, who is also Doncaster’s ceremonial mayor, added: “I am delighted a purpose built facility has been created under the Myplace initiative.

“I cannot underestimate the positive impact that the Myplace centre will have on the lives of young people in the area. It will be a venue just for them that will empower them, give them a sense of identity and give them the opportunity to reach their full potential.”