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Teens fundraising bid for youth shelter

PUBLISHED: 21:37 04 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:35 06 July 2010

A GROUP of teenagers who were fed up with having nowhere to go after school, have set themselves the ambitious challenge of raising thousands of pounds to pay for a new youth shelter.

A GROUP of teenagers who were fed up with having nowhere to go after school, have set themselves the ambitious challenge of raising thousands of pounds to pay for a new youth shelter.

Dozens of young people spend their evenings socialising in Carlton Meadow Park in Carlton Colville, and now they have decided to work together this summer to improve facilities for their community.

Backed by the parish council, the local police and youth workers, the teenagers want to raise more than £6,500 to pay for a shelter to be built on the park so that they have somewhere to get out of the wind and rain.

Now that the plans for the project, which includes solar panels to power lights and an MP3 music system, have been drawn up, the group is faced with the challenge of raising the money to get the shelter built before the winter weather sets in.

They have already made a DVD about how they spend their time and why they need a shelter to show to potential donors and have approached a number of local businesses and organisations to ask for funding.

Charlie Dinsdale, who spends time at the park with her friends, said: “People often think we're up to no good here, but that's just because there are lots of us and 40 people can make a lot of noise.

“We don't have anywhere else to go, so we just want somewhere warm and dry where we can sit and chat. I hope people can see that we're not going to let the shelter be vandalised. I know that by working hard to raise money for it, we'll all look after it.”

Suffolk County Council youth development worker Debbie Goddard said: “We've been working with these young people for a few months and I've never come across such an enthusiastic and focused group, they really are great.

“I really hope we can get this shelter in place because it would make a huge difference. At the moment the guys all crawl under the skating ramps when it rains because that's the only shelter, and that's a pretty miserable place to spend your time.

“We've helped to put in some funding applications but are now just waiting to hear back from most of those. Hopefully the local community will help us push this forward.”

Any local businesses or organisations who might be able to help the youth shelter project move forward can contact Pat Cregan from the Suffolk Youth and Connexions Service on 01502 574683.


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