A new weekly ‘Chill Out Zone’ for young people has been launched at Brandon Leisure Centre.
Around 50 youngsters, aged between 11 and 17, attended the first session, where they were able to play computer games, listen to music, play table tennis and enjoy free food, courtesy of Tesco Brandon.
The Chill Out Zone in Brandon has been made possible through a partnership with Abbeycroft Leisure, Suffolk County Council and Forest Heath District Council and it follows the success of similar weekly sessions held in Newmarket and Haverhill that have been running for almost a year.
The Chill Out Zones are designed by young people for young people to provide a positive, safe, social place to get together and enjoy themselves.
Working with local schools in Brandon, youngsters have been consulted about what type of environment and equipment they want and they will also be making decisions about the type of sports coaching sessions that will be available.
Funding for the project has also enabled local young people to become trained youth workers.
Karen Holmes, general manager at Brandon Leisure Centre, said:
“We’ve seen how this type of environment works well for young people at some of our other centres, and we’re confident that it will be equally popular here in Brandon. By listening to youngsters about what they want to do and how they want to spend their social time, we hope to offer a variety of different activities and encourage them to try new ways of keeping active”.
Victor Lukaniuk, Suffolk County councillor and ward councillor for Brandon contributed Forest Heath District Council locality funding, together with district councillors Christine Mason, Reg Silvester and David Palmer, to fund the purchase of the equipment and sports sessions.
He said: “This is an exciting opportunity for young people in Brandon and it will provide a safe space for them to come together.
“It can also be used as a platform to develop further projects and skills and I’m intrigued and excited to see how it will develop with the young people shaping its direction”.
The Chill Out Zone will run every Friday night at Brandon Leisure Centre from 7p to 9pm.
To find out more visit www.acleisure.com <http://www.acleisure.com/> or call the centre on Tel. 01842 819157.
Pictured above are youngsters and partners at the launch of the Brandon Chill Out Zone.