The village youth club is to re-open with a new leader in a fortnight’s time, after being shut for three years.
The club committee has continued to raise funds since losing its last youth worker and will pay the new recruit while it looks for a replacement for the small grant which supported local funding for the club before.
The new club leader is Angie Prout, 43, originally from Plymouth, but settled since 2009 in Ivybridge, where she met her husband and married him August this year.
She got a degree in youth work in 2005 and has other part-time contracts in community work and music workshops. She is an experienced drummer and drumming teacher – also a keen kitchen gardener who hopes to make use of a patch near the club hut. She will be committing every Thursday to Horrabridge, including setting up and running the club, and a qualified support worker will be joining her soon, also funded by money raised at the monthly market in the club, stalls at the summer fair and other events.
Anyone interested in joining the club, helping out or making suggestions for activities, is invited to a pre-launch meeting with Angie and club treasurer Janet Kendall next Thursday (October 26), 4 pm to 6 pm.
Youth club meetings will be on Thursdays, 7-9, from November 2 – open to all from Year 7 of school (ages 11-12) up to age 19.
Janet Kendall of New Park, Horrabridge, chartered accountant and voluntary treasurer of the club committee – also chief fund-raiser with the help of her baklng and her husband Dave – said yesterday: “We don’t know what the activities are going to be yet but obviously Angie’s drumming experience is interesting and we do have a couple of Wii instruments in the stock, along with pool table, table-tennis, various games, craft materials and so on. A lot depends on what suggestions and volunteers come forward next week.
“It has become hard to get grants to pay salaries, because there are so many rules and restrictions about the grant money that is available. You can buy a piece of equipment but you cannot pay essential workers’ wages. But we are working on it. We can provide the service for at least a year from what we have saved.”
Angie said: “I am really excited to have this opportunity. There’s something special about starting from scratch.”
She also wanted to thank the Space organisation, which runs youth activities elsewhere in Devon, for introducing her to Horrabridge and offering help until her regular support worker is fixed.