MORE than 120 guests attended a special event to celebrate the joys of youth clubs in Dorset.

The Dorset Youth Association held the celebration to mark its Hiking to Hot Pants, Tents to Twister exhibition at Dorset County Museum.

The display explores the history of youth clubs in the Dorset Youth Association network over the last 70 years and is open to the public until October 20.

Guests on the night included current youth club members as well as past and present leaders, trustees of the association and local dignitaries including Mayor of Dorchester Andy Canning and Mayor of Weymouth Margaret Leicester.

Senior officers at Dorset County Council were also present.

The exhibition was put together by a core group of 12 young people who gave up over 1,400 hours volunteering on the project.

Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Young Roots scheme has enabled them to put together a display using multimedia to tell the story of youth clubs with a visual timeline, fascinating artefacts, comic style graphics and videos.

It showcases the huge range of activities on display at youth clubs from crafts to boxing.

Volunteer Jack Welch said: “It is a world where caring leaders inspire young people to become well-rounded, confident individuals and the leaders of tomorrow.”

Volunteer event manager Issy Eastwood said: “It is a way to say thank you to those who have taken part and for the community to see how youth clubs can and have benefitted everyone.”

Director of the association Dave Thompson added: “I am really proud of the commitment shown by the young people and support offered by staff.

“The group learned many new skills from older members of the community, trustees, volunteers and staff, which helped them to produce the exhibition and to celebrate a unique part of Dorset’s heritage.”

Museum director Jon Murden said: “Projects like this are vital to actively involve young people in the life of the museum.

“They create positive impressions about teenagers and their role in society, as well as showing that museums today are not stuffy and boring.”

For more information about the project visit dorsetyoung