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Creating a state-of-the-art youth space in Shropshire

SYA believes that all young people in Shropshire should have access to quality, affordable and appropriate youth provision, giving young people a chance to discover their confidence, make friends and create fond memories. Alongside SYA’s direct provision, SYA supports many youth clubs, groups and organisations across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, providing children and young people with life changing opportunities.

SYA’s current youth service building needs a major upgrade, it’s small and means they can’t help as many young people as they would like to, nor adequately support the 70 plus youth clubs they work with. The Youth Investment Fund investment means SYA will now be able to forge ahead with major rebuilding works to create a state-of-the-art youth centre and enable SYA to support even more young people.

Once developed the new build will be home to young people across Shrewsbury, and serve as a brand-new HQ, helping SYA to support 70 plus voluntary youth groups across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. The funding means SYA will have a dedicated training room and state-of-the-art equipment to help improve the quality and quantity of training offered to the sector both in person, virtually and through blended training. And vitally will mean their equipment and space is more accessible.

It also means that for the first time in SYA’s 37-year history it will have security of tenure, until now SYA operated out of a rented accommodation, for the last seven years on a one day renewing lease! SYA will be able to reduce its running costs and achieve net zero earlier, which means it will be able to spend more money delivering youth work. Ninety-five per cent of all building materials used in renovating the property are being sources in a five-mile radius.

Vitally SYA can increase the quantity of youth provision in the local areas, helping to reduce mental health issues, increase physical activity, motivate young people to be the best they can and create a safe space for children and young people long into the future. Now that their dreams are becoming a reality SYA will work with young people, local youth clubs, SEND and LGBTQI+ youth groups and partners to develop detailed plans of what the youthwork space will look like.

SYA believes in being led by young people and giving them real agency in how the space will look and feel, so they have a real sense of ownership. Things like giving young people a budget for fittings and furnishing and a free hand on decorating the space.

This funding offers us the security we need to develop the charity and rebuild the sector in Shropshire and Telford, from this building we can train volunteers and paid staff, deliver equipment, programmes and events to over 6000 young people a week through our network of voluntary and funded youth project, clubs and groups.

Richard Parkes

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