Purbeck Youth & Community Foundation
The PYCF is a charitable organisation (Charity no. 01168537) that was formed in 2016 by local volunteers in response to Dorset County Council’s appeal for community groups to take over the management of youth centres. So, on 1 September 2016, we hired the building we are in presently in, at Worgret Rd, Wareham, and started running youth clubs with qualified staff. We soon expanded to running weekly sessions at Corfe Castle and in Wool youth clubs, and then Outreach in Swanage.
Our aim is to help and support young people in Purbeck. We provide age-related evening sessions at Wareham Youth and Community Centre – plus lunchtime access for students at the adjacent Purbeck School. We also organise one day trips and residential activities. A Duke of Edinburgh Award group meets fortnightly and the local Gateway Club uses our facilities on a weekly basis. We have a weekly over 50’s Not so Youth Group and a monthly under 10s session.
Most importantly our qualified staff support young people’s individual needs and when necessary signpost them to further help on a diverse range of issues. We work in partnership with many agencies who regularly use our premises to meet young people in their environment.
Restrictions because of Covid-19...
Following the National Youth Association Covid guidelines, during the past year we have undertaken as much as possible outside; so for example last summer we ran activities in the centre back garden, helping young people recover from the first lockdown. This included the painting of the mural (photo above and below). We have also provided some meetings on Zoom.
After acquiring an Outreach vehicle recently – as our mobile room – we planned to take it out and about in Purbeck. The current severe lockdown has put this on hold. Watch our Facebook and website for its launch. We will be starting this as soon as safety allows.
Somewhere that young people can feel safe and relax...
The members have highlighted the club as somewhere they feel safe, where they can meet their friends but also make new ones, relax, enjoy themselves and take advantage of new opportunities.
A young person who sums it up for many said, “Coming to youth club has made me a happy person, it makes you feel safe and it’s a place to express your feelings and somewhere to come to be accepted, Youth workers have been a massive help on helping me become a bigger and better person”
The Foundation is self-sufficient and our biggest challenge is securing funds to meet our commitments.