Henley Youth Centre to be Sold

Youth-CentreThe Trustees of the Thamesfield Youth Association, the registered charity that owns the Henley Youth Centre, have decided to look at options for selling the site and utilising the money raised on youth work across the town.

There are two main reasons behind this decision:

  1. Since the complete withdrawal of our funding by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) in 2011, the Management Committee have found it increasingly difficult to attract volunteers and raise the amount of cash needed each year to keep the centre open and staffed. Without that support, running a building such as this is no longer viable, in spite of the generous support we continue to have from Henley Town Council and many other groups throughout the Town.
  2. We have also asked the question, ‘Can we afford and indeed do we need to keep a dedicated building, in order to provide effective youth work in Henley?’  The fact is that the current building is old and takes the majority of our running costs. We believe what money we do have, and that we can raise in future through our charity, would be more effectively spent directly on a variety of projects that will reach more young people; rather than pre-dominantly on running a building.

Over the past 12 months we have initiated successful projects for young people in Henley that were not based at the Youth Centre. These include Junior ‘Flying Frog’ Youth Club groups both at the YMCA and D2, managed and run on our behalf by NOMAD. We have also supported the Henley Skate Park Initiative who currently use our charitable status until such time as they can break away and set up on their own. Other options we would like to consider is co-funding an outreach worker as well as financially supporting joint youth work with other established groups.

Our plan will take months if not years to realise and the youth club evenings and Hot Frog Cafe will remain open for the foreseeable future until we have news about the sale of the site.

On behalf of the Trustees I would urge everyone to continue to support our young people through the Thamesfield Youth Association charity over the coming months and years; they still need your support!

This decision was not taken lightly, but as Trustees we firmly believe we are making the most effective one. Our mandate as a charity is to provide support for young people in Henley and we are committed to carry on and do this over the coming years. Working with young people can be accomplished in many ways and we are very excited by the opportunities this could give us as Trustees to make a difference for our young people when they need it more than ever.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Clive Wilkinson. Trustee and Chairman of Management Committee Henley Youth Centre.
Email address: clivetaylorwilkinson@hotmail.co.uk