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Walkers on Dartmoor

About The Bovey Tracey Youth Café

Bovey Tracey Youth Café was set up by a group of like minded individuals who recognised that Bovey Tracey and the surrounding area had a potential problem with the lack of facilities for teenagers.

Local and national charities as well as Ugbrooke Environmental and SWERDA funded the purchase and setting up of our Café in Fore Street, which opened in March 2002. Running costs were financed by Leader Plus and donations from charities and individuals.

Revenue funding has been increasingly difficult to source and the Town Council realising the essential nature of our work has recently stepped in to help. The goal is to secure the future of the Café by spreading the funding load and thereby freeing up our Managers so that they will be able to concentrate on their work with the young people.

The services offered to teenagers range from 'somewhere to go', various different activities, to support, help and information on a range of issues to empower young people to stay healthy and safe, (including healthy eating, sexual health and drug and alcohol abuse). However, the personal involvement goes further than that and the young adults find they always have someone to talk to when, as we all know, this can, sometimes, be difficult at home.

My interest in this charity and the support I have given it, stems from my happy memories of my village halls as a teenager.

The 'village hall' has largely disappeared now and hence young teenagers have less to keep them occupied. The speed of modern life means they have less support through their teen years not just at home but also from the community at large. The Bovey Tracey Youth Café has largely filled this vacuum and I believe it is an essential element in the need for community responsibility and youth development.

Since the Café came into existence it has helped to reduce antisocial behaviour in Bovey, responsibility amongst the young has greatly improved and the town is receiving a direct benefit from its existence.

I would like to commend the Café to you and ask that you help support it financially in what are trying times for charities and small communities such as ours. Please consider giving a small but regular donation by standing order with your bank, this is not only rewarding but of immense help to the charity; the necessary form is attached. If you prefer just a single donation by cheque would be equally welcome.

Background

Bovey Tracey Youth Action (BTYA) was formally set up in 1999. It came into being because of a concern that there was no facility in Bovey Tracey available to young people, particularly those below pub-going age, where they could meet and spend time together. Although by most standards Bovey Tracey is not a deprived area it does suffer, as far as young people are concerned, from problems associated with rural isolation, certainly for those with no easy access to a car, (e.g. under 17s). Public transport is limited and expensive.

The Youth Café caters for an age range of 11 – 18 years inclusive. Given there are approximately 45 young people per year school group in Bovey Tracey, this gives over 300 teenagers who might wish to use the Youth Café who living in the parish. We maintain close links with a number of people and organisations in the area, including the Town Council, who are very supportive, the Police, Youth Offending Team, Devon Youth Service and many others.

The Youth Café since it opened

The Youth Café opened in March 2002 and has been very successful in attracting young people, who are both regular and occasional attendees; for whom the Café has rapidly become an important part of their social life. On average, up to 30 young people attend the Youth Café each evening. We currently open on Tuesday's, Wednesday's and Thursdays for young people aged 11 – 18. The main activities revolve around pool, computer games, music, and other creative activities.

Jeremy Butcher (Operations Manager) and Julie Colliety (Administration Manager) took over the running of the Youth Café in January 2008. Julie has recently become a Trustee and Maz Johnson has taken over as Administration Manager. We have an outstanding team of dedicated staff of various ages, from diverse backgrounds and experience including some that have, or do work professionally with young people in a variety of settings. We offer various recreational and creative activities. We encourage young people to help out behind the counter with staff who can help them learn important life skills. Young people can also obtain food hygiene and first aid certificates and babysitting accreditation. We receive our funding from local businesses and grant applications and the Town Council. We are continuously applying for funding to continue our good work.