Back in the summer the Original Youth Club, which had been in the village for over 15 years, elected a new committee. This is made up of some of the original committee plus Youth Forum volunteers and other new members.


At the last meeting in November it was decided to amalgamate the Youth Club and The Youth Forum to form just one group for all the Smarden young people and children.


The plan is to try and refurbish the Youth Building and then develop the club to cover different age ranges on different nights. The initial emphasis will be on restoring the club for the 13+ age group and then working down through the ages to provide a club for the 10-13yr olds and lastly the 7-10yr olds. Each age group overlaps so that youngsters can transfer at their own pace.


Obviously this will involve lots of work on the part of the volunteers who are already juggling their own lives with refurbishment of the building/grant applications and working parties. This is no mean task and we would ask that everyone bears with us while we try and get this enormous project off of the ground.


We hope to hear about our grant applications in early 2009 and the first aim is to put in heating and replace the walls we have demolished to form activity rooms for ‘chilling out’, playing music, IT and gaming, art and craft, sports etc.


We are always looking for volunteers to do anything and everything. Unlike many years ago everything we do has to meet rigorous standards to satisfy all sorts of legislation and everything from insurance to child protection has to be addressed in the same manner as any profit making concern but, without the privilege of paid staff.


Although I remain involved in the Youth club I am no longer the key point of contact as we are now running in a committee orientated fashion and in the future different volunteers will be doing different groups.


Any committee member can be approached and the committee is as follows.


Dave King, Sam Thompson, Jill and Phil Watson, Kirsty and John Mannouch, Janet Cameron, Kathy Wilson,Dave Luckhurst, Graham Saunders and John Lowings.


Eventually we may be in a position to set up an email so that will be the point of contact. Please watch this space for more details and advise your friend if anything new is posted. Thanks. Jill