Well my blogging week began with my visit last Friday evening 13 Jan with a visit to PHAB at Lintons Lane in Epsom. This is a Friday night youth club for children and young people aged 10-16, specifically including those with physical and learning difficulties. All run by volunteers and the 85 young people that night queued to get in, and had a great time, as did I. The problem is that Lintons Lane building is being closed by the County Council and sold off for redevelopment, and to be fair this large site is being underutilized as a capital asset. The building (an old girls school is semi–derelict, but it is a great space for the young people, and much loved by them. PHAB will need new premises which Surrey CC are committed to funding for them, and other users including Disability Challengers.
This led on to a meeting that I chaired on Wednesday with Sanctuary Housing, Epsom BC and Surrey CC about Sanctuary’s brilliant scheme to redevelop an office site they own as a new youth hostel (foyer) for homeless young people, and to run all sorts of youth activities from there – drug and alcohol advice, support to NEETs and so on. Great support for the project, and a good example of Surrey Youth Focus in a brokerage role.
We have set the budget for next year and although it’s in operating deficit, we have stronger reserves already thanks to some additional income this year, so I am hoping that Trustees will be ok with this at the formal meeting next week.
We are meeting with Anne Milton MP who is visiting us this morning on the back of our public debates on “Young People and Society” which we held last year in Guildford (her patch) and Epsom. I’ll report back next week.