Youth clubs in Somerset to be reopened

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Six youth clubs in West Somerset that closed following council cuts are to be reopened by a local community group.

Minehead EYE, the area's largest youth centre, has taken over the running of clubs in Watchet, Williton, Carhampton, Minehead, Stogursey and Luxborough.

They were closed after Somerset County Council stopped its direct provision of youth services earlier this year.

Che Percival, from Watchet youth club, said: "We're here for another year and hopefully we'll get funding for more."

Under the new scheme, Minehead EYE will employ the youth workers and oversee the clubs, alongside parish and town councils and committees.

Naomi Griffith, from Minehead EYE, said the centre "could not stand by and see these clubs close".

"When we heard that all the youth clubs were closing down, we decided we couldn't really let that happen and let Watchet and Williton and all the other towns and villages be left without a youth club," she said.

"It's really obvious where clubs are closed, kids haven't got anywhere to go or anything to do and they deserve a place."

Mr Percival, a youth worker at the Watchet club, said they "didn't give up".

"We found funding from other sources and Minehead EYE happily have been overseeing all of this so we're here for another year," he said.

"And in that year, hopefully we'll get funding for more years to come - hopefully forever."

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