Chill club real cool for kids

PUBLISHED: 01:01 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:48 10 June 2010

A new Littleham youth club has answered police prayers after officers' appeals to keep kids busy in the area. The Chill club has hit the ground running, boasting 40 or more members as police report a drop in anti-social behaviour since its December openin

A new Littleham youth club has answered police prayers after officers' appeals to keep kids busy in the area.The Chill club has hit the ground running, boasting 40 or more members as police report a drop in anti-social behaviour since its December opening.Free to registered members aged 11-16, the club at Littleham Leisure Centre has struck a chord with kids on the often-maligned estate.With more than 30 volunteers and organisers involved through the Littleham and Exmouth Parish Church, the club has plans to build on partnership work with police, and draw funding for facilities and day trips.Chill founder and parish family and youth worker Nigel Candelent says children have been invited to make the night their own by requesting activities and plans for the group.He said: "We aim to provide a warm and safe environment, and positive role models for youngsters. We've gone for healthy, wholesome food and drinks in our cafe, and all the members have got involved in activities."Police officers are available to mix with youngsters and create community links, and oversee the club's 9.30pm closing time.Littleham neighbourhood PC Sallyanne Southern has been impressed after her call for more activities for local youngsters. She said: "The club is more than we could have hoped for. They have engaged with the kids brilliantly. "Some of the kids there are ones you wouldn't think would normally go to a club, so it has been an eye opener."Club rules mean visitors must behave or lose their membership, ensuring friends back up each other's positive behaviour. Chill - the club meets Fridays 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Littleham Leisure Centre in Littleham Road - will now seek funding to update its facilities and make plans for a wider programme of events. For more information on the club, contact Mr Candelent on (01395) 274344, or PC Southern on (08452) 777444.

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