A YOUTH centre is making progress after its county council funding was cut.
The Dorchester Youth and Community Centre used to be run by Dorset County Council, but it was put into the care of a trust run by volunteers in September last year.
Chris Davies, chairman of the trustees said: “The transition from Dorset County Council to the trust has been quite turbulent.
“Some individuals go out of their way to help us, but organisationally there is little or no support.”
However, the Dorchester Youth and Community Centre Trust has had help from various sources to face its challenges and keep it running to support young people.
Half of the £60,000 of funding it requires for the year has been provided by Dorchester Town Council.
It also received £20,000 from an anonymous donor, which has made an application to donate further funds.
Additionally, Mr Davies said the trust has been given valuable advice by outside actors, including from Dorchester Town Council clerk Adrian Stuart.
He said: “We are in a better state than most youth centres at this time.”
The centre now holds three youth sessions per week for year sevens, year eights, and year nines and upwards – and hopes to introduce a fourth session on Thursdays.
It also hosts a Saturday club for children with learning disabilities, which attracts children from as far away as Bournemouth.
The centre boasts a games room, where kids can play football and basketball, a home cinema, a fully equipped sound studio with a drumkit and guitars, a kitchen and a non-alcoholic bar, as well as disabled access.
There are also five computers available, all with child protection software installed.
Mr Davies said: “There is a lot more worked involved than I first envisaged.
“For us it has been a learning curve. We have had to find out how to do everything.”
This included sorting out the insurance for the building, getting together a fire alarm system and fire extinguisher, and organising a security system.
Asked how the club helps young people, Mr Davies said: “Social interaction is one thing.
“It also provides an opportunity to learn new skills and our nine youth workers are able to offer life guidance and also listen to issues which young people encounter.”
He added: “I think youth centres are very important because they provide a safe, fun and secure environment for people to come along to and socialise.”
Dorchester Town Councillor David Taylor, who is also a child care worker at Manor Minors Ossie Allstars, said: “It is good to see there are safe and professional teams which look after the children’s needs.
“It is good to see we still have a youth centre and, with the funding that has been given by the town council, it is good to see that progress has been made.”