Fresh hope for future of threatened Melton youth club

Youngsters enjoying themselves at a session at The Venue in Melton EMN-180423-125545001
Youngsters enjoying themselves at a session at The Venue in Melton EMN-180423-125545001
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The short term future of popular Melton youth club, The Venue, has been secured following fears it may have to fold.

Organisers of the scheme, which is attended by more than 60 youngsters aged from eight to 17, were devastated to hear earlier this year that the Big Lottery had decided not to continue contributing the thousands of pounds needed to keep sessions going at Phoenix House in Nottingham Road.

The Venue youth club in Melton, based at Phoenix House EMN-180423-125534001

The Venue youth club in Melton, based at Phoenix House EMN-180423-125534001

It was feared back in February that the club might have to close in a matter of weeks until Melton Learning Hub, which manages it, began negotiating with the lottery to re-submit a bid.

Parents have been writing letters of support to the lottery to emphasise how important the club is to Melton youngsters as organisers prepare to bid again for funding.

Sarah Cox, manager at Melton Learning Hub, said: “The board of directors authorised the use of funds to keep The Venue youth sessions running for six months whilst further funding could be sought.

“We also met with a team from the lottery, who visited in March.

“We are submitting a revised bid in early May and a number of families are involved in this process.”

The Venue was launched in 2015 to provide activities, entertainment and a safe space for young people to meet and make friends. Over 30 children aged eight to 13 meet from 4pm to 6pm on Thursdays and the same number of youngsters aged 12 to 17 congregate on Thursday and Friday evenings.

As well as the weekly sessions, the club hosts a number of youth support services and events, such as meetings with police officers and drink and drug awareness initiatives. There are also one-to-one sessions with youth and social workers and mentoring opportunities.

As well as the social side, the club provides healthy meals for members, using food provided through the Fareshare scheme where supermarkets donate products which are approaching their sell-by-date.