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Outreach service to help youths in Clitheroe
5:00pm Saturday 9th June 2012 in Ribble Valley news
AN outreach service to help youngsters in the Ribble Valley avoid alcohol and drug misuse is going ahead with full force.
The Clitheroe Castle Grounds project aims to offer an alternative for young people to walking the streets and getting into trouble.
The outreach team, which is headed up by Peter Fletcher, community sports facilitator at Ribble Valley Council, goes out into the town on Friday evenings to let 13-19-year-olds know what alternative activities are on offer.
The schemes comes after complaints were made about anti-social behaviour in the the town, including the castle grounds.
The diversionary activities, which are held at Clitheroe Youth Centre, in Wesleyan Row, from 6.30pm to10pm, include sessions like cookery classes, music mixing and football.
A drop in facility, underneath the Bowling Green Cafe, near the skatepark, will also be operational by the end of this month to cater for young people who do not want to take part in the more formal activities at the youth centre.
Mr Fletcher said: “It is all about doing work and identifying with people where there are potential problems.
“There are other things happening in other parts of the Ribble Valley. The crux of what we are doing is trying to provide better alternatives to alcohol and substance misuse.
“There are lots of different facilities and there are lots of great options for young people.
“We are trying to cater for their needs and say ‘these are the things you can do, you don’t have to get involved with alcohol and other substances’.”
The team manages to speak to between 20 and 30 young people each Friday night, with 30-40 per cent of those agreeing to go along and try out the facilities.
Mr Fletcher said: “It is about not making alcohol the norm.
“It is about better options and positive influences. We cannot change society but we can influence young people to do better things.”
The scheme is supported by the Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Action Team and Ribble Valley Children’s and Community Safety Partnership