The Sylvia Beaufoy Centre in Petworth is a youth centre that gives the opportunity for children of the area to have a place to learn new skills, socialise and escape the sense of isolation that can often be felt by young people who live in the countryside. Even though Petworth has been described as one of the most desirable places to live, the transport links for young people are sporadic, which means it is hard for them to visit the bigger towns nearby.
Set up originally to give a place for young people to exercise and look after their own wellbeing, the centre has grown into a youth club for all.
Started in 1962 by a local named Sylvia Beaufoy, the originally named Petworth Youth Association has grown from strength to strength in the last few years and is helping more children than ever. In the last twelve months, their registration numbers have doubled and now have 200 young people who regularly attend the centre.
The youth club offers a wide range of activities for the children to participate in. For example, the SBC provide sessions which teach children how to cook, not just simple home meals but more exotic and gourmet food as well. After being supported by another charity, they had the opportunity to teach children to cook Barramundiand Salmon to a high standard.
There are multiple rooms at the youth club that offer children the chance to take part in sport, reading, exercise and a homework club.
Children and staff at the SBC are also involved with the Green Power racing initiative which allows children to design, build and race electric cars, with appropriate supervision, around the country against other schools and organisations. This gives the children the opportunity to learn to work in a team together, learn practical, hands-on skills and participate in a sport which is hard to get into. It also teaches the children important life lessons such as how to deal with winning and losing in a dignified manner.
Not only does the centre play an integral role for young people’s socialisation, but through the SBC, employment opportunities can be found with local businesses at one of their events that has local employers meet the older young people and give them advice about the world of work.
The centre is also a great place to try new activities such as go-karting, laser-tag, sports and cooking. There is a large mix of children and young people from all walks of life that use the centre, so all backgrounds and incomes are catered for, ensuring all the young people who attend receive equal opportunities.
This summer, the SBC want to give the opportunity for 35 young people and the required staff to stay at Brathay in the Lake District where they can learn new skills, try new activities and socialise with their friends from the youth club in a different environment to what they are used to.
We are pleased to announce a £1,500 donation to this project to help fund this residential. Also, a ten laptop donation from our Technology Programme to ensure that children have access to the technology they need for their education.