New youth cafe planned for Baildon

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Baildon  councillors Debbie Davies, Roger L'Amie and Val Townend with members of the Denholme Youth Cafe Baildon councillors Debbie Davies, Roger L'Amie and Val Townend with members of the Denholme Youth Cafe

Baildon could soon have a new place for young people to meet after Bradford Council backed the idea of a new youth cafe.

The three local councillors started pursuing plans for a youth cafe last year, visiting other facilities in the Aire Valley to get an idea of what they offered. They are currently looking for suitable buildings and funding sources.

At the latest full council meeting, Coun Debbie Davies asked Coun Ralph Berry, portfolio holder for children’s services, if he would be willing to work with them towards a new facility.

He replied positively, adding: “We would expect the Council’s youth service to work with external partners to drive this forward together with the clear involvement of young people and a shared commitment to providing resources from across all partners.”

Intended both as a social venue for young people and a place they can go to get advice and support, hundreds of young people attend the district’s youth cafes each week. They offer advice and sexual health support to people who often feel uncomfortable speaking to their family about such issues.

Coun Davies said: “We have been to visit two premises that could be youth cafes. One is no good, but another has potential. If it is suitable we can look at getting funding together and start working with young people to see what they want.”

Ward councillors Coun Davies, Coun Val Townend and Coun Roger L’Aime were taken on a tour of the Bingley, Shipley and Denholme youth cafes.

The Shipley cafe, on Market Street, offers services as diverse as cooking skills and chlamydia screenings. Run as a charity, but receiving help from Bradford Council’s Youth Service, it has a membership of more than 400.The Bingley Youth Cafe has 404 members. Funded by the Big Lottery scheme and managed by Shipley and Bingley Voluntary Services, it offers computer and arts classes and has a dedicated NHS service. The Denholme youth cafe, in Foster Park, is run by Bradford Youth Service and has more than 50 members.

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