ONE Haverhill has claimed the town’s youth is behind its youth hub ambitions after a recent survey showed ‘100 per cent’ support.
A survey conducted by the umbrella organisation’s youth skills manager Karen Chapple revealed overwhelming support from young people for the youth hub and services, which will be based at the old magistrates’ court in Camps Road.
Some 170 young people aged ten and over have completed the survey to find out in more detail what services and activities they would like to see run from the youth hub.
Ms Chapple has also been meeting with young people to discuss the project.
Haverhill Town Council is currently negotiating with Suffolk County Council on the lease of the building after the county refused to gift the land to the town.
A full building condition survey has been completed and refurbishment, which has soared from an estimated £150,000 to over £220,000, is underway, with the town is looking to work with a building project manager.
The Echo has not been shown the questions that were asked in the survey.
Ms Chapple said: “We now have surveyed a cross section of 170 young people and all responses have been 100 per cent positive as have the verbal communications that have taken place again with a variety of young people.
“From my conversations with young people, they are very keen to improve their employment and training prospects and excited to welcome a youth service to Haverhill.
“In my opinion it will ensure their varied needs are met and with support from different agencies the young people of our community will engage and flourish.”
Arts projects, training for new skills, advice and guidance, music jamming and pool were among the activities young people would most like to see at the hub.
Crime, drugs, lack of job opportunities, graffiti, bullying and a lack of activities in Haverhill were listed as the issues that most concerned young people who completed the survey.
In the summer of 2012, ONE Haverhill employed an independent company, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, to carry out a community consultation to find out what people wanted in the town in order to prepare the Haverhill Community Budget as part of a Government pilot to give local communities more say in the way budgets are spent.
It revealed that people in the town wanted to see more services to support our young people in the town including support to find jobs, training and practical and emotional issues, as well as events and activities.
Further work with young people in focus groups at the town’s academies revealed support for a one stop shop or youth hub to house activities and services.
It will be open to all young people in Haverhill and will also provide targeted help for vulnerable or disengaged young people.
For all the latest news see tomorrow’s (Thursday, April 24) Echo.