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Wymondham churches launch youth bus project

VibeYouthBus420A group of Wymondham churches has teamed up to launch a community youth bus initiative to provide a safe place to go, advice and to build relationships with local young people. Keith Morris reports.

The Wymondham Youth Bus ‘Vibe’ is a Wymondham Church Network initiative backed by the town’s Methodist, Abbey, URC and City Church congregations.
Geoff Davison, from City Church Wymondham, who is heading up the project, said: “The suggestion of a bus came from the police who have seen youth buses operating in other areas, either by churches or town councils, assist in reducing anti-social behaviour and crime. The Wymondham churches, which are also represented on the management committee, have provided almost £14,000 of the £23,000 raised.
“We have also received generous grants from the Geoffrey Watling Charity and Dreams and Visions but still need to raise £12,000 to reimburse interest-free loans from individuals.”
The double-decker bus currently operates on Friday evenings at the town’s Browick Road recreation ground, right next to the main skatepark. It has been operating since June and attracts around 30 young people each time it opens.
Vibe was set up to meet a need for young people in Wymondham and aims to provide a safe place for teenagers to gather. Also to listen, support and provide advice to them on topics such as drug and alcohol awareness, sexual health, anti-social behaviour, family and relationships, education, employment, finance and bereavement. The Matthew Project, Pregnancy Choices and a local health centre help provide advice and other activities and refreshments are also available.
Geoff said: “We will work with statutory agencies, other care-related projects, the business community, financial institutions and volunteers to provide a range of resources that will endeavour to enhance the lives of young people. We are committed to reflecting Christian love and values in our offering of care, encouragement, hope and belief in young people but we will not seek to impose our Christian faith and belief on others.
“The potential we see for the bus is amazing and we really believe that with everyone’s help, we can make Wymondham a really community-minded place to live. We have raised £23,000 but still need to raise a further £12,000 in support from the local community to continue providing this valuable resource. We also need more volunteers to enable us to open for more evenings.
“We have already formed a positive link between the young people and the Town Council, with support from the new Mayor Diane Ferne and would also wish to see the bus used for other community projects by churches in the surrounding villages,” said Geoff.
Vibe will be officially launched at 11am on Saturday September 14. The bus will be at the Wymondham Market Cross and the ribbon will be cut by Town Mayor, Dianne Fernee. Refreshments will be sold from 9.30am to raise funds.
Support for the project has been received from Kier – May Gurney, Edmundson Electrical, Clements, E Fire, Myhills and Boots.
For more information or to offer support, please contact Geoff and Debbie Davison on 01953 423387 or 07919 168412.

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