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New youth club plan at Southwell Methodist Church


By Josh Clarke


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Plans are progressing for a new youth club in Southwell in response to a lack of facilities for young people.

Southwell Methodist Church wants to have a youth club in its cellar, as part of expansion plans.

The club would be called Neepe’s Cavern, after William Neepe, who was the driving force behind the building of the original chapel.

There was previously a youth club in the church cellar, called The Cavern, in the 1980s.

Methodist minister the Rev Peter Hibberts said: "The more I talk to people it is apparent that they feel there is nothing in Southwell for the youth.

"There has previously been a youth club in the cellar, and also in Southwell Library, which eventually folded, but there was a problem in that it was always the youth occupying somebody else’s space."

The new club will have a kitchen, toilets and its own entrance.

Young people will be consulted on activities and equipment.

Mr Hibberts said the new venue could also be available as an alternative education space for students excluded from school.

"We hope the youth space will be able to host a variety of youth activities, and hope to set up an umbrella group, under which we can invite smaller groups to come and run projects," he said.

"These may include youth groups, youth support services and after-school clubs.

"The main aim is to create a dedicated, safe space for the youth of the town and surrounding areas to call their own.

"We are keen to hear the voices of young people in owning and steering this project.

"The biggest challenge will be sustaining volunteers.

"Obviously we need to safely recruit, safeguarding the individuals we will serve in all the necessary ways, but if anyone is able to offer front line involvement, we would like to hear from you."

It is hoped the youth club will be open within 12 months.

"I have personally been moving with this vision for over a year now and working with others to ensure that it is the right thing," Mr Hibberts said.

"I am convinced the time is now and cannot wait to get going."

County councillor Mr Roger Jackson said: "I am keen to see it started again as it will provide a good place for the youth of Southwell and surrounding areas."

Mr Hibberts said anyone who would like to get involved, or express any views could email him at peter.hibberts@methodist.org.uk

Updates can be found at www.facebook.com/Southwell YouthCavern/

The youth club coincides with plans for an extension to the church, needed because of growing congregation numbers.

The proposal would see the size of the welcome area increased by around 40% and the ground floor by around 50%.



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