Eastwood pupils launch own community centre

A GROUP of pupils at Eastwood Comprehensive School are opening up a community centre on Nottingham Road to offer a variety of services and activities to children and parents.

The year nine and ten students have rented a property on the town's busy high street and called themselves SAFE - Supporting Action For Eastwood.

The eight pupils, aged 13 and 14, want the shop to be a base for information and resources for parents with access to computers and specialist support in literacy and numeracy for the pupils.

Two of the teenagers are members of the Governor Community Committee and came up with the idea following discussions about a lack of activities for young people in Eastwood.

SAFE chair Sam Attwood said: "We want to bring all of the schools together and make changes to Eastwood and we thought it work better to have something run by children.

"A lot of pupils struggle, for example with truanting, and it will be easier for them to get their point across. We will ask them in to talk about it and act as a halfway house."

Headteacher Mark Pickford said: "We are used to students surprising us with what they can achieve, but this group really has pulled out all the stops. They have taken a very community-spirited idea and turned it into reality in a very short space of time.

"A big project for such young minds. But doesn't it go such a long way to redress the negative that we are always hearing about the youth of today?"

Mr Pickford said he also intends to spend time in the shop which will open in July, making teachers more accessible to the community.

SAFE has its own constitution, bank account and committee and is now looking for funding. Their first target is to find about 30,000 to cover rent and activity costs for the rest of this year.

Cllr Keith Longdon, who represents Eastwood on Nottinghamshire County Council presented them with a cheque for 1,000 on Wednesday and the group has received several other smaller donations which it has put towards rent.

SAFE consists of chair Sam Attwood, treasurer Heather Boddice, secretary Samantha Farmer, Wesleigh Lawson, Alicia Lowton Parkin, Callum McKane, Taylor Boulton and Grace Parker Slater.


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