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Save The Lighthouse Youth Club

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We, the undersigned, write in support of The Lighthouse Youth Club, 5 Barrack Road, Christchurch. Given that the Lighthouse has been served its eviction notice, we request that a suitable and affordable venue, within the confines of Christchurch Town Centre, is identified by B.C.P. Council to re-locate the town-centre youth and community project.

The Lighthouse is a youth club, community project, and activity centre which has provided development and support to the young people in Christchurch Town Centre for the last 35 years, as well as a safe and nurturing environment available to young people outside of school times. The youth club also offers a range of services available to young people, from sexual health advice, educational help, and employability guidance, delivered by fully trained youth workers.

It is widely regarded that youth clubs also function in a preventative capacity. By offering a venue and a range of activities, youth clubs can help to reduce the amount of anti-social disturbances that may be caused by bored young people. Therefore, a town centre youth club benefits not only the young people themselves, but also the town centre community as a whole.

We believe that recent funding cuts, and the loss of a property for the youth club, will have a serious impact on the young people of Christchurch. Many young people have relied on this youth project for a range of opportunities: educationally, developmentally, and interpersonally.

The Lighthouse has been a valuable and significant space within Christchurch. As well as functioning in the traditional youth club format, in which a safe and secure space has been offered to young members, a range of programmes have also been facilitated by our funded-through-donation youth workers. The youth club also houses a music project and recording studio which has been instrumental in the formation of many of the member’s musical talents and successes.

Lighthouse alumni include musicians who have: been part of a band signed to a major international record label, appeared on national television to millions of viewers, played venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, played gigs as far afield as Mexico, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Latvia, Lichtenstein, and the Channel Islands, and many more. The youth club is also involved in a number of local events and festivals which allow opportunities for the young people to perform, manage, and assist in the delivery of community-focused events.

Members have also gone on to teach in a professional and educational capacity, often quoting their volunteer work at the youth centre as a decisive factor in their career paths.

Simply put, we, the undersigned, feel that the loss of The Lighthouse Youth club will have serious ramifications to the development and safety of young people within the town centre and urge that a suitable venue may be made available.­

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