‘Premises are an issue – but with or without premises the concept of running a drop in centre that is effectively a “street corner with a lid on” will continue in Ramsey.’
Anne Craine, chairman of Ramsey Young People’s Project, which runs the popular youth club drop in known as The Shed, has said.
Her assaurance over the future of The Shed came at the annual general meeting of the Ramsey Young People’s Project held last week.
The project will lose its premises at the Manx Electric Railway station in Ramsey when a new transport interchange is created on the site to serve rail and bus passengers.
Speaking at the project’s AGM, Mrs Craine said: ‘Much has been spoken about and even written about in the local press surrounding the future of the project. The original plans for the redevelopment of the MER station had included within it, a politically supported provision for dedicated facilities for the Ramsey Young People’s Project. This has now been removed from the plans because it appears that the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure, the Department of Infrastructure and the Ramsey Town Commissioners, as stakeholders, have excluded it from the brief.’
Under whose political term of office this happened the project has not discovered.
‘The fact is that we have been dropped out of the scheme, our long term lease expired some time ago and the renewal for our premises The Shed are on a three month rolling notice period,’ said Mrs Craine. ‘While we are grateful that this position became highlighted at a commissioners’ meeting through a following press release, it has caused anxiety for the young people who believe that they are about to lose their base.
‘We need to get to a position where the commissioners, level one police meetings, and members of the Chamber of Commerce, talk not only about us, but to us.’
Mrs Craine added: ‘I am the only remaining member of the founding committee and have seen us face a number of changes in the past. Premises are an issue – but with or without premises the concept of running a drop-in centre that is effectively a “street corner with a lid on” will continue in Ramsey. Wherever it finally finds a home it will need to be centrally placed, young people, just like our Victorian forebears who enjoyed promenading, like to see and be seen.’
Anyone able to help with the provision of new premises is welcome to get in touch with the project.
Meanwhile, Mrs Craine also took the opportunity to stress a desire for the a ‘re-ignition of the relationship that we used to have with the police’, explaining that there is a gap in the knowledge of the force of the young people and the mutual respect that used to exist needs to be developed once more.
Mention was made by Mrs Craine of many individuals who have contributed positively to the project over the past year, including the then chairman Juan Clague – a police officer stationed at Ramsey – a connection with the local force that was ‘welcomed and useful’ – was thanked for the time he’d given.
The loss due to retirement of stalwart youth worker Nigel Revill was highlighted and congratulations and thanks went to long time youth worker Cathy Christian MBE on her retirement.
The commitment of unusual hours by youth workers often goes unrecognised and in addition to thanking those who have now left, thanks went to those who continue to run the project, Jenny Adamson who has taken over as lead youth worker and Julie Martin who assists. The project’s committee as well as the Department of Education for staffing provision were thanked.
The need for new blood on the committee as well as the need for more youth workers to open The Shed on Saturday nights were also mentioned.