The Fight to Save Youth Clubs: how The Hangout Club in Glossop is securing their future

by Rachel | Feb 14, 2024 | Community & citizenship, Stories

The Fight to Save Youth Clubs: how The Hangout Club in Glossop is securing their future

In communities across England, youth clubs serve as vital lifelines for young people, offering not only a sense of belonging but also valuable life skills and opportunities. However, a recent report has sounded the alarm, highlighting the precarious position many of these clubs face due to funding cuts. One such club, nestled in the heart of Glossop, is facing imminent closure, sparking a grassroots movement to save it.

At the Hangout Club, located in Glossop, Derbyshire, children gather twice a week to engage in activities ranging from boxing to baking, on the agenda now is saving their club. For many of these young individuals, the club represents more than just a recreational space – it’s a sanctuary, a place where they can connect with friends, escape the confines of their homes, and engage in meaningful conversations.

Helen Thornhill, who oversees the club shared her thoughts on the club in a recent BBC Breakfast story.

“It’s a lifeline for the young people that come, it’s a safe place, it’s a place where they can come and meet their friends, be sociable, get out the house, be active. They’re talking to each other, they’re talking to the adults, they hold really good conversations, but they’re allowed to be themselves, so they’re not on the street, they’re not getting moved on by the PCSOs. Really, they just want to be sociable and be with their mates.”

The threat of closure looms not due to a lack of demand or interest but rather as a consequence of broader decisions made by the financial restraints of Derbyshire County Council. The council has signalled its intention to shut down the building, putting the future of the club in jeopardy.

However, the volunteers refuse to let their efforts go down without a fight.

Through their crowdfunding campaign these dedicated individuals are rallying support to keep the club’s doors open. With 23 days until their campaign closes, the group are looking to raise £30,000 for their youth club.

Matt, who runs the sport activities at the club and is an advocate for mental health awareness, stresses the importance of providing young people with constructive outlets and social interactions to safeguard their well-being. He fears that without the club, many of these children may slip through the cracks, their mental health deteriorating due to isolation and lack of opportunities.

“They’re young, they need to be active, they need to be doing things instead of being sat in their house. Otherwise I’m going to be seeing them at my mental health group that I run in Glossop.”

The testimonies of club attendees paint a poignant picture of the impact this space has had on their lives. From learning new skills to forging friendships, the Hangout Club represents more than just a recreational venue – it’s a cornerstone of the community. For Seren, a 12-year-old with dreams of becoming a boxing champion, the club is her sanctuary, a place where she can pursue her dream of becoming a national boxing champion.

As the battle to save the club unfolds, one thing remains clear: the resilience and determination of these volunteers are unwavering. Their commitment to preserving this vital resource transcends individual interests, reflecting a collective dedication to the well-being of their community. In the face of adversity, they stand united, ready to fight for the future of their youth and the soul of their neighbourhood.

The fate of the Hangout Club may hang in the balance, but its spirit lives on in the hearts of those who refuse to let it fade away. In a world often fraught with uncertainty, the beacon of hope embodied by this humble youth club serves as a testament to the power of community and the resilience of the human spirit.

You can donate to The Hangout Club here.

Do you need to raise funds for your youth club? Find out more here

Ready to raise funds for your idea?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.