Help save Longridge Youth Centre from axe

Former Longridge Youth Centre leader Shelagh Richardson - who worked there for more than 20 years - is urging everyone who has had anything to do with the Berry Lane premises over the years to join the fight to save it from closure.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 30th May 2016, 9:00 am
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS. Longridge Youth Centre, Berry Lane
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS. Longridge Youth Centre, Berry Lane

She said: “I would urge all those who have attended the youth centre over the last 49 years, parents and supporters to take the time to comment on the proposals in the consultation document.”

Shelagh witnessed generations of young people benefit from the centre which she describes as “an integral part of Longridge’s life and heritage” and says was “shocked and dismayed” to hear the news of its possible closure.

She said: “The historic building owned by Ribble Valley but leased to LCC has been used as a youth centre since 1967 which would have meant a 50-year celebration of service next year. Over this time the centre has provided a dedicated base which gives support, and for some a haven, that young people may have been unable to find elsewhere, certainly not on the streets or in the pubs.

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“For others they have found a direction and purpose at a time in their life when they most needed it. If this provision is removed it is almost certainly never to return and it is difficult to see where else this much needed provision may be found.

“I am led to believe the current proposal is to provide some kind of service from the library but the centre’s main strength is one of ownership, the building has been and is the young people’s own space with coffee bar, dance studio and recreational/chillout areas for pool, air hockey, Xbox, Wii, TVs, dance machine, etc as well as dedicated rooms for one to one confidential works, meetings and/or small group work. As such they take pride in it and contribute to its upkeep and fabric.”

Besides appealing to everyone to fill in LCC’s consultation questionnaire and sign the e-petition on line, the young people are producing a leaflet to go with a paper petition which will available at the centre and other locations. People are also asked to write letters of their thoughts and drop them at the centre.