THERE were celebrations as a £100,000 grant enabled the opening of a new café youth club in Lampeter.
The Stage Goat Theatre Company submitted an application for funding from the National Lottery Community Fund for the new social space for young people.
It is aimed at young people aged between 14 and 25 and fills a void left by community centre and youth club cuts of the last decade.
It will provide free activities, hot food and drinks throughout the year, for three days every week.
A successful pilot scheme proved there was an urgent need for youth-led activities in the town and surrounding villages based upon extensive feedback from young people and the wider community.
The £95,705 granted to Stage Goat Theatre Company will allow the youth café to operate for a year.
Director at the theatre company, Tracey O’Grady, said: “Our young volunteers here at Stage Goats have been reaching out to their peers to ask them an important question: “What do young people want/need in their community?”
“We are beyond proud of what our volunteers have done to bring this youth led café into existence.
“It was something that was very much needed and wanted in our community, and it would not have been possible without the support from the National Lottery Community Fund, and the vision of our local youth!”
“I think we have fantastic local initiatives and businesses who are willing to give up their premises to allow for something great to happen three times a week.
“It is a god send and I think it’s testament to the Stage Goat Theatre Company’s hard work and the great idea they had – otherwise the National Lottery wouldn’t have supported it.
“I was fortunate when I was growing up in Lampeter, there were a lot of great organisations – and some are still going and do great work.
“And we also had places we could go to chill out and hang out with friends – safe places to have a bit of fun.
“And many of those places have closed. But gradually we’re seeing these sorts of initiatives offer new services – it’s a glimmer of hope. Give young people a chance - they just need a little bit of a helping hand in life.
“This is something governments should be supporting. We need more government support for the elderly but likewise we need a bit more support for young people as well.”
To find out more about applying for a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/wales