The River Festival 2019

Picture copyright Pershore Times – Issue 44 – October 2019

It seems like ages ago but the River Festival really did bring a Beach Party to the town in July. This year’s Festival was a great success, thanks to a great deal of work by the committee members and support from the Avon Navigation Trust. We are grateful to be the beneficiaries of this event and that local people recognise the importance of the Centre as a focus for young people. Youth group sessions take place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, plus ongoing tailored support, life- skill sessions, career advice and counselling.

On the river, South Worcestershire Life Saving Club, Avon Navigation Trust, Pershore Greyhound Dragon Boats and the Maritime Volunteer Service provided demonstrations, boat trips and a chance to have a go; coordinated by Alex and Kim from Bonkers.

King George’s Field offered stalls, pony rides, a funfair, bouncy castle, exotic animals, circus skills, duelling and dance! After all that excitement the food stalls and beer tent provided much-needed refreshment, with musical accompaniment. The Centre itself was a haven of calm with people enjoying teas on our outdoor terrace, overlooking Punch and Judy, magic and zorbing. Due to the generosity of the donors, the Luxury Raffle was very popular, raising more than £1000.

In August we hosted a quiz night to raise funds for Sunday Club. £140 was raised, which will be used to provide more activities for children and families who enjoy coming to the club as part of Worcestershire County Council’s Short Breaks Service. This was an evening full of fun and laughter.

The Centre is dependent on such fundraising events, donations and income from room bookings and parties in order to continue to provide vital local support for young people. To support our work, please sign up to Easy Fundraising uk/panel/ nominating Pershore Riverside Centre as your chosen cause. Then, when you shop online the retailer will send us money – at absolutely no cost to you! Help us to benefit from the profits of Amazon, John Lewis, Boots and hundreds more. Trustees and the young people who use the Centre have a simple request: ”Come back in 2020!”

Anyone interested in taking part next year come to the open meeting of the River Festival to find out more – on 16th October at 7.30pm at the Town Hall.

Article published in the Pershore Times – Issue 44 – October 2019

Riverside Youth Centre – the place to be!

Teenage Focus! – Gregory Sidaway (15)

In the March issue I addressed the question of whether or not Pershore provides enough for young people. Continuing this debate, the Pershore Times decided to look into what Pershore does provide for young people. I had heard of the Youth Centre before, but never actually understood what it does!

A few days ago, I met with Bradley Edmunds, the full time Lead Youth Worker to help
promote the centre for those who had never heard of it before or who have never had the chance to visit.

Brad, Abi, Megan and Ryan give their time to help young people have the “best experience possible” as they go through childhood and the difficult transition into adolescence. “We already have ninety young people here,” says Bradley, who is
extremely keen on expanding the Centre’s popularity. For people who are bored during the school evenings and holiday periods, it’s a safe place for them to socialise without parents worrying. It’s a “non-judgemental” environment that offers support for all young people, allowing them to express their feelings and individuality
without the fear of being laughed at.

Their activity sessions are split between under-13’s on Mondays (from 6:30 – 8:00pm) and 13+ on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (from 6:00 – 8:00pm). This way, the team are able to focus on specific groups of people, building their sessions around their audience.

For under-13’s, an activity frequently mentioned was Cooking – as it helps to develop key skills needed in later life – as well as Judo, Water sports and Rounders etc.

For 13+, there is a heavier focus on teenage life, with drugs and alcohol awareness promoted and exam revision methods encouraged. A councillor is available without a waiting list to listen to any worries or concerns that a person might have. Feel
free to talk with any of the team, who will keep any problems or concerns confidential, finding the best possible solution to them.

On Sundays there is a club run specifically for young people (8- 15 years) with learning
difficulties or disabilities. Various activities take place and parents are welcome to stay if they wish or can use the time for respite if they prefer.

The Centre helps to encourage members’ aspirations and interests through organising
Career days and Workshops. For those young people who are constantly bored through the school breaks, or need somewhere to go with their friends during the day, the Riverside Youth Centre is certainly a fantastic place to start.

My first impressions of the place and its staff was very positive. I know people of my age often spend their days in their bedrooms with their phones.

That’s fine. But if you are someone who wants to do more than that; to get out there and enjoy yourself, the Pershore Riverside Youth Centre is the place to be!

Article published in the Pershore Times – Issue 42 – August 2019

What goes on at the Riverside Youth Centre?

Tucked away between Asda and the Leisure Centre is a place where 9-17 year olds come to socialise at regular club nights and other sessions.

A genuine community facility, the Youth Centre’s focus is firmly on provision for young people, providing positive activities for all that want to join in, and focusing support and guidance for those that need it most. Abi Wilks and Brad Edmunds, the Centre’s qualified, experienced youth workers, are very aware of the issues faced by some of Pershore’s young people and are passionate about engaging with, supporting and
motivating them to find a way through their concerns.

Many of the Centre’s regular attendees are not in a position to access sports clubs, uniformed groups or activities outside Pershore, so “The Youthy” is a lifeline for 9-13 year olds on Monday evenings and an older group on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“Our role is to create an environment where they can feel safe, grow in confidence, join in, or ask for support with an issue when they feel ready. It is very rewarding to see young people progress and gradually building a relationship with them is the best thing.” Abi

On a typical club night at the Centre, a group of thirty will be playing pool or computer games, enjoying free wi-fi, relaxing in a friendly environment and sometimes even doing last minute homework.

Leaders offer practical support, for example around careers advice, CVs and interviews; with counselling for exam stress or tougher issues available in
separate sessions. Life skill sessions are also on offer, including cookery, first aid,
healthy living and internet safety. Over the summer we are offering daytime sessions for 7-13-yearolds.

The young people really appreciate the support and facilities offered: “I like being with friends in a warm Environment, I feel safe.” Pershore’s Riverside Youth Centre really does change lives. The young people who use the Centre are increasingly becoming involved in the local community. Everyone is looking forward to helping with refreshments, a raffle and stewarding at our major fundraising event – the Riverside

The Centre is dependent on such fundraising events, donations and income from room bookings and parties in order to continue to provide vital local support for young people.

Article published in the Pershore Times – Issue 39 – May 2019