The Young Salcombe Centre, a youth club based in Salcombe, is welcoming new members or volunteers who would like to join the team. The centre originally opened as a youth club in 1969, and it was restored to its former function in July 2022.
They are open on Tuesday and Fridays after school to take part in lots of fun activities, such as table tennis, chess, baking and arts activities.
Caroline Flage, who recently won Salcombe’s Citizen of the Year Award for her work with the club, said: “There’s something for everyone. We listen to the children and see what they would like to do... we try to teach them skills, or they can watch a film, listen to music, play a game. There’s a small outside space where they play basketball.”
There are ten volunteers who help to run the centre, and local businesses have rallied around them. The rugby club ran a family day in August and donated £300 of the raffle proceeds to the centre, which went towards cooking classes for the children. The rotary club are going to pay for internet to be installed, and one local lady donated a huge £2000 to the initiative. Leah Cole, who runs simply beautiful books, also did a community funding project for the centre, gifting them over £1000 of new books, puzzles and games.
Caroline said: “Its a really really supportive community... without those kind of donations and offers, we wouldn’t be where we are. We’re really grateful to anyone who wants to sponsor us.”
She added: “We had an art project last year funded by the Salcombe Town Council and other businesses in Salcombe (where) we made ceramic tiles for the Queens jubilee and placed them around town with a trail. The money we raised was matched by the Town Council, and we’re now doing an awesome big project for the King’s coronation.”
During the holidays, they also run events. She said: “In the holidays we have a high quality art school, where the children study an artist and create a painting or a print or a piece of ceramic. They’re treated as artists for the day.”
The centre are also working with parents with SEN children and their siblings to develop a monthly meeting place so they can have a safe place to play and integrate.
Memberships for the club are £10 a year, with £1 subs each week, which help pay for the tuck shop, where the children have toast and squash.
Volunteers have also recently started going up to the primary school to walk the children down from school to help working parents.
She said: “Its a team project. We couldn’t do it without everybody. Its tricky running a charitable organisation."
The centre also welcome people to come forward who would like to use the centre as a space to run their own initiative or class. As long as any schemes revolve around children, such as a mother and toddler group, or sharing skills, the space is available for use.
Caroline said: "We’re always in need of more volunteers, but also people wanting to use the space… If people have ideas, they can come forward.”
At Christmas they will be building a grotto inside the hall, and having tours of the grotto to raise money. Children will be able to have hot chocolate, make decorations, play games inside the grotto, and pull out a present from Santa’s sack.