Collette Noel 0

Ealing Council to rehouse Youth Street Beats Voluntary Community Group

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Youth Streets Beats ( is a voluntary group that has been providing dance, music & drama arts workshops for children aged 5yrs to 16yrs living in the London Borough of Ealing for the last 10 years. Last year we were told that our Community Centre will be closing in March 2012 to make way for a new School in 2014. I am happy Priory Community Centre will be turned into a school but the council is neglecting the fact that we work with over 60 children from over 20 primary & Secondary schools within the borough, whom love attending the group on a weekly basis. The children are all asking me where will be going and that's where the problem is. We just don't know! The council has only provided us with a spreadsheet of places we could move to, but I feel this is very unfair since we have provided the Council with 10 years of voluntary service. People have been employed to rehouse us but I feel there is not enough communication taking place. You would think that groups using the centre would be given alternative accommodation in the first instance..then the Council would look to close the centre. It is a shame that a community project that provides a social alternative for all children and promotes Family/Community cohesion is left hanging. The government has got it all wrong when funding is shared out; we never get a look in. For example The Arts council would prefer to give money for an exhibition of cow poo, than fund our group projects and now our own council is taking away our home. I say “Home” because for a lot of the children it’s their second home. With the society we live in today it’s become unsafe for children to be on the streets, so community centres are needed. Community groups that allow children to self express themselves are needed! Safe environments that allow children to be children and keep them off the streets are needed! If I won the lottery I would buy Priory Community Centre because it’s got so much potential for the community. We know the council need to make cuts, but please do it in the right places, not so it affects the children. If the government continues the way they are, there will be an epidemic of young people losing faith…. We all know what happened in August 2011…..we all don’t want a repeat but it’s up to governments now to show they care more about the welfare of our youth. I have worked hard to establish this group and need help to encourage the council to get their act together and rehouse us (including our cupboards full of equipment and props). I am now seeking the support of friends, family and the wider community to help us campaign to be re-homed in permanent accommodation. We need to show the importance as to what we do (with no funding) with the reality of what we could do with funding and proper support from the Council. I have volunteered since the age of 16, firstly working with my mother’s group, who are also affected by this closure. Working with children can be very challenging but we persevere because we want to make a difference in our community. We see the importance of giving the children an opportunity to perform on stage and shine. The importance of breaking down internal barriers they may have. Letting them know that they can! Now we come to a point where the Council seem prepared to say “No you can’t!” Please show your support and sign our petition especially if you are a parent and your child/children attend or attended the group. We need all the support we can get at this late stage. “Children are the future!”


Collette Noel (Director/Founder of Youth Street Beats) Margaret Noel (Director/Founder of Descendants Youth Group)


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