Calls for youth club to stop antisocial behaviour

By Alexandra Bánfi   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 12th May 2022 10:17 am
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A meeting was held to discuss what could be done to support youths

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CALLS are being made for the return of a youth club in Machynlleth to fight anti-social behaviour.

The Cambrian News reported last week how CCTV were being installed at a community garden, Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Gardens, after groups of young people had caused extensive damage to the gardens “for months”.

A meeting has been held with local young people, to discuss what could be done to support youths in Machynlleth, in light of vandalism and volunteer coordinator, Angela Paxton, said they recognised the need “to support our young people”.

Angela said about 25 people from the community attended the meeting: “The youth initiative meeting was well attended, with concerned local residents, representatives from PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations), the town’s youth worker, town councillors, and young people who were in the gardens at the time.

“It was a very informal session, with people expressing their concerns and suggesting ideas. PAVO representatives took people’s details and will be following up with suggestions for further meetings.

“It was widely agreed that there needs to be more in the town for young people, and there will be further meetings about this. It was pointed out that the main thing that needs to happen is to have a committee to take this forward, to apply for funding for a youth club and youth workers, and to manage this.

“I was very pleased to see that a number of town councillors have been elected who are concerned to do more for young people in the town and I hope this will be a priority for the new town council. Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Gardens will support any such project as we know how much teenagers need their own space, and more youth friendly activities.

“At the community gardens, we will be removing our main shelter, because it is no longer worth fixing - repairs had been taking up too much of our time at gardening sessions. We are there to garden!

“We will be re-planning the whole area where the shelter was, and have started doing this with volunteers, our kids’ group, and visitors to the garden. We have scale maps, with cut outs and pens and paper for people to add their own ideas to the new design, and will also be referring to our recent community survey, where many people gave us their ideas for the gardens. We envisage that the newly designed space will be without permanent covered areas, which we hope might help with reducing anti social behaviour.

“People can come to the gardens on our drop in days, Tuesdays and Thursdays, or to our markets stall on 18 May, to contribute their thoughts on this.

“We hope to have many improved features in the space, such as wheelchair accessible raised beds, wildlife features such as a new garden pond, and temporary shelters, depending on what people would like.”

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