Fitzwilliam youth club saved

YOUNGSTERS in Fitzwilliam are celebrating after local councillors secured the future of their beloved group.

Fitzwilliam Youth Club had been threatened with closure because of the

state of the Old People's Centre, on Wakefield Road, where it meets twice a week.

But councillors Sandra Pickin, Glyn Lloyd and Tracey Hardwick have succeeded in saving it after persuading Wakefield Council to pay for repairs, which include fixing the lighting and installing a new central heating system.

Work will start in January and is expected to be completed in March.

The club, which has almost 50 members, offers young people aged between

11 and 17 the chance to socialise and enjoy a range of activities, including games, sports, arts and crafts and dance lessons.

A number of groups for older people, including the Darby and Joan Club, will also be able to move back into the centre once the new central heating system is installed.

Coun Ann Westmorland, one of the volunteers who runs the group, aid: "We haven't had any heating for about 12 months and have had to use little electric heaters but they just weren't good enough. We really thought we would have to close. But the councillors have worked very hard to make sure these repairs get done and we are very grateful to them.

"We are absolutely over the moon. We have some brilliant children who come here and the club is very important to them – they were going to have a sleep-in if they were told it had to close. The elderly people who had to move out becauseof the cold will be able to use the centre

again too, which is really good news."

Coun Hardwick said: "The youth club is absolutely outstanding and it is really well used and in an ideal location for the local community. It is not just the young people that go there either, it is also used

by the older generation as well so it is brilliant that this facility has been allowed to continue."

Coun Clive Hudson, cabinet member for environment and facilities, said: "I am pleased to confirm that the council will fund the boiler replacement and essential works that are required at the centre.

"This will enable the relevant groups to meet there in improved conditions. We hope to support the youth group to stay in the building until their Christmas parties in December. We then plan to start remedial work, to be completed during January. Supplementary heating can then be used and the boiler will hopefully be replaced by March."