Closure threat to mobile youth club

A MOBILE youth club launched last year by comedian Jo Brand is in danger of closing if additional funding and new volunteers cannot be found. The St Ives charity Natural High is making a desperate plea for volunteers and funding for its double-decker yout

A MOBILE youth club launched last year by comedian Jo Brand is in danger of closing if additional funding and new volunteers cannot be found.

The St Ives charity Natural High is making a desperate plea for volunteers and funding for its double-decker youth bus known as The Buzz.

Helen Dye, from the charity, said: "The youth bus is such a good scheme, but for it to work we need volunteers to be youth workers and drive the bus.

"We also need funding, otherwise the scheme might not last the three years we had planned."


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Launched last November at RAF Wyton, the brightly-coloured bus travels around Cambridgeshire providing young people with a place to go and things to do.

"We work with the parish councils to try to provide something for the young people to do in villages where there is an absence of youth facilities," added Mrs Dye.

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The bus was repainted and converted by volunteers at RAF Wyton and Royal Engineers from Waterbeach after being bought secondhand from a firm in Blackpool.

Aboard the bus, youngsters can find sports kits, a PlayStation, computers, a projector, a sound system, and a chill-out area.

Despite being launched last year, the bus made its first trip only last week because it was being repaired.

This week it visited youngsters in Ramsey Heights and Wyton-on-the-Hill, and next week it will visit Earith and Needingworth.

The bus is open from 6.30-9.30pm for people between the ages of 11 and 25.

The estimated cost of the project running its full three years is £200,000, but only £117,000 has been raised so far with money coming from a Big Lottery Grant, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Huntingdonshire District Council and Luminus Group.

Mrs Dye said: "A further £100,000 is needed to make this project last the three years we hoped it would. Without the money we just can't keep it going."

INFORMATION: Anyone wanting to get involved in the project, either as a volunteer or to make a donation, should contact Helen Dye at Natural High on 01480 396574.

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