Blackdown Youth Club achieves quality award

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A popular youth club near Taunton run by community volunteers has achieved Somerset County Council’s ‘Safe and Welcoming’ award.

Blackdown Youth Club in Corfe, now in its fourth year, offers a range of activities as well as exploring topics like healthy eating and social media safety.

The club provides a safe and relaxed place for young people to socialise and unwind with their friends.

It is supported by grant funding from Somerset County Council’s Youth and Community Service, receiving £570 to support its work until March 2019.

The ‘Safe and Welcoming’ benchmark scheme accredits the club’s safe practice and appeal to young people. The club was required to build a portfolio containing witness statements, policies, health and safety practice and building safety details in order to obtain the award.

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, 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.”

Emma King, Chair of the Blackdown Youth Club Management Committee, added: “We are so proud at Blackdown Youth Club to have renewed our Safe and Welcoming benchmark award. It was a challenge but it is worth it with the support and funding that the club receives from the Council.

“Ensuring the local hall had all the necessary checks in place was tricky but now it’s completed it shows a commitment from the hall to providing a safe and reliable premises for the Blackdown Youth Club to continue into the future.”

The Benchmark is an established scheme which has been available for youth clubs in Somerset for over four years.  The awards are valid for three years and are a condition of Somerset County Council youth club funding.

The award is split into a 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.

There are currently 48 youth clubs in Somerset which hold the Safe and Welcoming Benchmark.