Youth worker makes plea to ensure Norwich youth club future

A youth worker is urging Costessey Parish Council to save a youth club which faces closure due to proposed cuts in Children's Services.

Lead youth support worker, Julie Mears, issued a plea to councillors to keep the Costessey Youth Posse (CYP) alive by pledging the �3,000 needed to run it each year.

The future of the club was put in jeopardy when Norfolk County Council announced proposed cuts of �25m to the Children's Services budget, which means she will no longer be funded to run the group.

Councillors said their parish budget was already decided for next year, but the finance committee will discuss the issue at a meeting on Monday and make a recommendation to full council.

Mrs Mears, who works with more than 40 young people at the Costessey Centre, said: 'I feel very strongly that there should be youth clubs for young people available in their villages and will do all I can to keep CYP from closing. I have children myself and I want their to be a safe place for them to meet their friends and get involved in the community.'

A plan was put before the parish council at a meeting on February 2 which outlined the future funding of the CYP and a new youth club at Queens Hills.

Much-needed money would pay for Mrs Mears to work at both clubs and fund a further two other youth workers, each costing �750 a year.

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As well as ensuring the future of the group, the proposal would also provide the parish council with more control over youth work provision, allowing them to adjust the youngsters work to meet parish needs.

John Denby, councillor for New Costessey, said: 'We have always tried as parish council to support youth work in Costessey. Now that it looks like the county council are closing down the whole system altogether, the idea of the parish council funding the youth work could be a good way to go forward if we possibly can.'

Do you have story about a youth club closing? Contact reporter Ben Woods on 01603 772439 or email