A bid to raise £20,000 has been launched by members of Broadstairs youth club, The Zone.
The club has been running for 12 years but always in rented premises – first St Andrew’s church hall in Reading Street, then more recently at The Gap in Queens Road.
The aim has always been for the club to have a home of its own and to be able to launch a youth and community café. Now, after three years of negotiations with Thanet council, it has taken on a lease for the old sports pavilion at St Peter’s Recreation Ground – just along from Thanet Wanderers Rugby Club.
The location is perfect for the club but the building is in a state of neglect and has suffered at the hands of vandals.
Club leader Victoria Suchak said: “Our aim is to start a youth and community café. This will give us so much more flexibility to provide not only an increased youth service but to open our doors to the wider community too.
“It will provide a sociable, friendly space where people can just drop in for a coffee and a chat, meet up with friends or make new ones, offer or receive support and information on any issues, and join in some organised activities or events. We want the café to become a local community ‘hub’, where people of all ages meet and become friends.”
The cost of the project
The building needs a considerable amount of work.
Victoria said: “We need to raise about £20,000 to pay for the renovation work.
“We have spent many, many hours trying to raise money by applying to grant-making organisations. Some have been successful, but due to such a high demand for charitable support nationwide, most applications are rejected.
“We have raised around £10,000 so far through our own efforts – cake sales, non-uniform school days, donations, music events, Crowdfunding, as well as through grants and pledges.
“So now we are trying to raise awareness of our plans, and enlist the help and support of everyone we can.”
12 successful years
The successful club has seen hundreds of young people pass through its doors, meeting up with friends, making new ones, playing games, eating pizza, taking trips out ice skating, canoeing, camping, visiting theme parks, as well as learning some skills on the way – First Aid, music, art, sport, Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, how to cope with more difficult issues such as mental health.
Bands have taken their tentative first steps at the club, new skills have been developed and even a few disputes have been sorted out.
Victoria added: “The youth club is in a financially stable position, with running costs covered, a good attendance rate, a loyal and supportive team of staff, and the recognition from families of the young people who attend, as well as the wider youth service sector, that we deliver a high quality and much needed youth service for Broadstairs.”
Events to help with fundraising are planned for the next few months – keep a look out on the club Facebook page, and for posters around town.
The aim is to have the site open by the Summer
How you can help
Donations of money is the easiest and quickest way to help – the club bank account is at Lloyd’s, just pop in and deposit to “The Zone Youth Club, Broadstairs”
Visit the CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) and donate direct to the account
Visit Justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/zoneyouthclub-broadstairs
Nominate the club at either Tesco Extra or Tesco Metro Broadstairs during May and June through their token voting
Nominate at either Co-op Broadstairs or Co-op St Peter’s as your chosen Local Cause
Donations of time, building materials, particular building skills, would also be helpful
There are collection pots in Broadstairs High Street, and the club would love to have more around the local shops
Sign up to easyfundraising.org.uk – donations are made every time you shop online, at no extra cost to you.
Having charitable status (Charitable Incorporated Organisation, number 1161470) means the club is happy to receive donations from businesses, which are tax deductible.