Thriving youth group under eviction threat

Youngsters and youth workers Alex Bullivant, Tom Waterhouse, Hannah Foot with chairman of trustees Peter Davies outside Deepings Youth Centre, Deeping St James, which its youth club has been told to quit in the next two weeks.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Youngsters and youth workers Alex Bullivant, Tom Waterhouse, Hannah Foot with chairman of trustees Peter Davies outside Deepings Youth Centre, Deeping St James, which its youth club has been told to quit in the next two weeks. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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A Deepings youth club is 
facing eviction from its base 
in the village.

Deeping St James Youth Club has been told to leave Deepings Youth Centre by Lincolnshire County Council and trustees have just two weeks to get out of the building.

Deepings Youth Centre's recording studio where youth worker Alex Bullivant (right) supervises Charlie Odhams and Jayden Joyce.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Deepings Youth Centre's recording studio where youth worker Alex Bullivant (right) supervises Charlie Odhams and Jayden Joyce. Photo by Tim Wilson.

The council has held talks with Deeping St James United Charities, with whom it jointly owns the youth centre, to buy it outright.

But a letter from the council to the youth club’s trustees telling them to leave the centre, a registered charity, by June 8 has come as a bombshell to about 40 youngsters aged between 11 and 13 who use it every Tuesday.

Peter Davies, the club’s chairman of trustees, said: “We’ve known that the building was likely to change ownership but we were given absolutely no warning whatsoever when, suddenly, all the trustees received this letter from the council.

“We run the youth club three nights a week, including Tuesdays for junior members whose numbers have gone from nothing to 40 in just five months.

“It should be a very exciting time for us but we’re getting to the stage now where it’s getting a little bit desperate.”

Jo Kavanagh, the county council’s head of youth services, said: “We have been negotiating with the trustees of the building for some time and we do not want to see the youth facilities close in Deeping St James.

“But at the present time the building is not fit for purpose and the county council is working to help find an alternative venue for activities to continue for young people in the village.”