Toothill Junior Youth Club – which is almost twenty years old – has beaten over 60 other clubs to win the Robert’s Trophy for its range of activities and training of staff.
The club, which has 80 members and a waiting list, offers sports, cookery, gardening, crafts, discos, computer games and games nights to youngsters between 5 and 15 years old.
Anne Fisher, club trustee, said, “Youth Action Wiltshire awards the Robert’s Trophy annually to a club within its membership. We are very proud of our staff and volunteers for running such a successful club and for receiving this award. At least sixty of our 80 members come along regularly each week so we must be doing something right. We firmly believe that sixty children and young people engaged in positive activities and off the streets one evening a week goes a long way in reducing potential anti-social behaviour in the future.”
The club meets on two evenings a week at Toothill Farmhouse which was refurbished by Swindon Council in 2007. About forty five children between the ages of 5 and 9 meet on Fridays from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, and thirty-five 10 to 15 year olds on Tuesdays from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
Paid coordinator Caroline Bosley works with seven volunteers to organise the ever changing programme. “We’re depend entirely on fundraising and making grant applications including to BBC Children in Need, who came along in November to film how the money is being spent.
“The million pound grant from the lottery to be spent in Toothill is very exciting. We will be applying for support. With more regular funding we can offer a lot more to Toothill children, and develop training for future youth leaders.”
Toothill parents who would like to put their child on the waiting list should drop in on club nights. Volunteer helpers are also invited to visit.