Wellington Youth Centre has become the 40th Youth Club in Somerset to achieve Somerset County Council’s ‘Safe and Welcoming’ award.
The ‘Safe and Welcoming’ benchmark scheme accredits the club’s safe practice and recognises the excellent work undertaken to attract young people to the club and to get involved in activities. The club was required to build a portfolio containing witness statements from the young people who attend and staff, evidence of health and safety practice and policies as well as building safety details in order to obtain the award.
Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “It is reassuring for parents and carers to know that their local youth club is safe, sustainable and ‘young people friendly’. Once a youth club has gained this award, it becomes instantly recognisable to young people and their families as a great resource for their community.”
Cllr Andrew Govier of Wellington Community Support Services, said: “We are delighted that we, working with Somerset Rural Youth Project, have achieved this award. Giving young people positive activities is very important but it is equally important that this is achieved in a safe environment. We hope that the youth centre will continue to thrive and the recent financial support from Wellington Town Council has given it fresh impetus. We hope that parents will be reassured that their children are going to a club that is well-run and where they will be safe.”
Valid for three years the award is a condition of Somerset County Council youth club funding. The award is split into sections looking at what young people can expect to experience at the club, the people who contribute to or work in the club, and policies, procedures and paperwork.
The youth club is supported by grant funding from Somerset County Council’s Youth & Community Service, receiving £4,000 in 2017-18.