A charity which supports the needs of young people is celebrating more than two decades of success.

BYPAT (Bridport Young Persons Action Trust) has reached it 25th anniversary, having been registered in October 1993 following an incident of drug-related violence in Plottingham Fields which shook the community.

Chairman Arthur Woodgate said: “We held a symposium at the youth centre. Organisations working with young people were represented, including police, social services and Colfox School. Most importantly, we were joined by young people who needed to speak for themselves.

The gathering recognised that there was little for young people in the town – a sentiment echoed by many in the present day – and the answer was the creation of a charity focused specifically on the needs of the young.”

BYPAT was created and took up two themes; a motor mechanics project named The Bandits, which still exists, and an advice, information and support centre known as The Mill.

“We worked with young people to decorate an old pub in North Street,” said Mr Woodgate. “They decided exactly what it was they wanted to see there. The first youth worker in charge was Anita Darby, well-known and trusted by members through her outreach work on the streets with Phil Lathey.”

As well as providing support, BYPAT has been able to identify and help deliver a variety of projects, including the formation of Bridport’s first youth council, a monthly youth page in the Bridport News, the creation of Plottingham skate park, ZEST Music Project and the Japanese Exchange Programme, now in its 23rd year.

In partnership with the town council, it has worked on the West Bay play area and, with additional support from Bridport Rotary Club, is trying to resurrect the Trick Factory skate park. In a project initiated by Mr Lathey and delivered through voluntary company BEST’s Aspire Project – which is managed by Mr Woodgate – BYPAT continues to work with young people facing mental health issues. “All in all, 25 busy and productive years,” he said.

For more information, email a.c.woodgate@btinternet.com