Cash boost for centre

A RANGE of new activities are to be introduced at a weekly youth group at Boston Spa Children’s Centre in a bid to stop anti-social behaviour.

Leeds City Council this week announced £1,600 funding be injected to allow the service to introduce a range of new activities including sport, cookery, arts and advice sessions and a tuck shop.

A council spokesman said: “It is hoped the project will reduce anti-social behaviour, increase participation amongst young people and improve links between the young and old in the community.”

Boston Spa Youth Group currently works with about 20 to 30 local 11 to 16-year-olds for two hours a week at the children’s centre.

The group is run through a partnership of Kings Church, St Mary’s Church, West Yorkshire Police, Youth Services and Boston Spa Extended Services.

Conservative Wetherby ward Councillor Alan Lamb was among three council representatives to welcome the news.

“We are always looking to improve the services we can offer children and young adults in Wetherby.

“I am really pleased we have been able to support this scheme.”

Coun John Procter said there was hope for the future.

He added: “Boston Spa Youth Group provide a great service to children around the area.

“Hopefully introducing new activities and facilities will encourage more children to come and get involved.”

Coun Gerald Wilkinson said that when the youth club was closed for a few months, anti-social behaviour was a problem.

“Anti-social behaviour has been a problem in the area.

“But since the youth service reopened it has diminished.

“There was a general anti-social problem with youths being a general nuisance in the community.”

He added: “The area committee have long recognised the good work youth groups and children’s centres do in the community. Anything we can do to reduce anti-social behaviour and improve community cohesion is a good thing.

“The young people are very keen for the the new activities to start.

“We are confident that we have spent the money wisely.”

The money for the improved youth services came from both the North East (Outer) Area Committee’s wellbeing revenue fund and the East North East Homes Area Panel.

The state-of-the art Boston Spa children’s centre was unveiled in September after Leeds City Council invested more than £850,000 into the Boston Spa project which took two years to come to life.

The centre provides a wide range of services ranging from health visits to breastfeeding support, advice on childcare options, including information and advice, support to childminders, links with Job Centre Plus, and access to community health services.

The multi-purpose site also includes a ‘chill-out zone’, and a play area bordering onto the existing Deepdale Community Centre. It serves not only Boston Spa but Bramham, Thorp Arch, Barwick, Thorner, Scholes and Aberford.

Coun Wilkinson said the centre is well used.