Teens’ heartfelt plea to council

YOUNG people, who have gained extra qualifications and social skills at the Phoenix Youth Centre, stood before Daventry Town Council on Monday night to appeal for funding for the centre.

A request for £11,000 for the second year of the centre’s three year development plan was put in to the council who had previously rejected the bid and resolved to discus the funding at Monday’s meeting.

Councillors heard from almost 10 young people who said their lives had seen a significant improvement since joining the centre, many of them had given up smoking and drinking and had joined a students led anti-bullying group to give something back to the community.

Trustee of the youth centre Collin Poole said to councillors: “It is very unusual to see a group of young people taking the time to come along to a meeting and speak like this.

“I think it would be a feather in you cap to help an organisation like this and it is the duty of this council to give them support.”

Representative from the centre Elaine Bedford told the council how the centre hosts up to 70 young people on a Friday evening as well as providing educational development to 15 youngsters currently working towards NVQ level qualifications and 10 on the virtual babies programme. She said the money would be used for the maintenance of the building, to continue providing support to young people and to ensure the centre could support the role of a fundraiser to generate income for the centre in future.

However a few councillors questioned whether DTC should fund the centre as their policy states that they should not fund ongoing revenue costs.

Despite a few concerns many councillors, including deputy mayor Mark Wesley, agreed the centre was a ‘jewel’ for the town and should be supported by the council.

Councillors then voted to approve the appeal and granted the funding for 2013.