Cafe youth club plan aims to cut anti-social behaviour

A CAFE in Birstall is opening its doors to young people in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour in the village. 

The Cobbles, on Market Street, will host the first session of the Birstall Youth Project on Wednesday, November 6 (6-8pm).

Children will be able to enjoy a variety of games, including pool and table football, as well as taking part in arts and crafts.

Organised by Birstall local Paula Dyson and owner of The Cobbles, Donna Pailing, the sessions will cost £1 and will be open to a maximum of 40 youngsters from the ages of 11 to 15. 

The pair have received support from Safer Kirklees officers and the project has enjoyed a positive response from Coun Mark Thompson (Con, Birstall and Birkenshaw), who has recommended the team for community funding.  

“The kids in the area have got nothing to do. They’re hanging around in gangs and they can become intimidating,” said Paula. 

“So we’re going to open our doors – up until now, no-one has done anything for the children of Birstall. 

“They’ll be able to socialise and eventually we hope to get laptops so they have a safe and friendly environment to do their studying.” 

A spokesperson for Safer Kirklees, the district’s Community Safety Partnership, said: “We’ve come on board because we’ve been pushing for information on the anti-social behaviour occurring on Fieldhead and in the village centre. 

“It has become evident that there is a lack of facilities and the area is crying out for something to distract the young people of Birstall.” 

Volunteers are hoping to be joined by a police officer at the sessions. 

Donations of books, games and healthy snacks have already been received and the Birstall Youth Project is continuing to appeal for further items to be left at the Cobbles cafe. 

For more information, or to volunteer, call Paula on 07512 659342.

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