Andrew Miller MP visits NC&YC
|Published: 11th March 2009 14:38|
Neston's local MP visited the brand new Community & Youth Centre on Burton Road today.
Mr Miller's first reaction was similar to that of many people who have visited the centre since it officially opened earlier this year: "I am immediately struck by how much bigger it appears on the inside than you expect. Perhaps it should be called The Tardis!"
During the visit, Andrew and his wife Fran were shown around the building by NC&YC Board members Paul Davies, Alan Brown and Chris Fergus, and also met with Centre Manager Helen Barrie and Board member Joan Joynson.
A group of Neston Primary School pupils were at the Centre during the visit. The Year 4 pupils have recently returned from a trip to Burwardsley, and have created laminated booklets describing their experiences during the trip, which are currently on display in the Reception area of the Centre.
Mr Miller was particularly impressed by how accessible the Reception area is, and the huge amount of light in the building, some of which is supplied by state-of-the-art "light tunnels" which he admitted to having seen on an episode of Grand Designs! "The use of light in the entire building is very effective," he said.
He went on to say: "The building is so architecturally pleasing, and it is most impressive that it is providing a service the community needs, and is being run so well by members of that community."
Paul Davies commented: "It's been fantastic to see what can be achieved by a relatively small group of people. One particularly impressive contribution was that of the young people who were consulted a few years ago on what sort of youth facilities they would like to see built, even knowing that by the time it was completed, they would not personally be using them. Their contribution was extremely helpful.
"We are also grateful to Project Rural Matters who helped to fund that consultation as well as providing finance for various security enhancements to the building."
Helen Barrie explained to Andrew that the Centre has to be self-supporting, as it is currently not publically-funded: "The Centre was built with help from NWDA, WREN and Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council, but now we have to stand on our own two feet. We are dependent on the income from hiring out the learning and meeting rooms to pay for overheads and staff costs.
"We also depend to a large extent on volunteers to help run the Centre. For example, we currently have a volunteer, Karen Powell, who has come to us as a result of the Workability Plus programme run by EPNBC, and we warmly welcome any other members of the community who wish to be involved."
Before taking his leave, Andrew summed up his impression of the facility: "It's a lovely building, and I encourage the community to take full advantage of it. The more it is perceived as being 'owned' by the local community and youth of the area, the better looked after it will be."
If you would like more information about hiring space, volunteering or to enquire about current courses and classes at Neston Community & Youth Centre, please contact Helen Barrie on 0151 336 7805, or by email.
Pictured (l-r): Alan Brown, Mrs Fran Miller, Andrew Miller MP, Paul Davies & Chris Fergus.
Mr Miller signs the Centre's Visitors Book
A contingent of pupils from Neston Primary School were on hand to show Andrew their reports of a trip to Burwardsley
Helen Barrie and Andrew Miller discuss the Reception Area, currently enhanced by a display of
textile designs from West Cheshire College
Andrew offers some gardening advice to Paul Davies and Alan Brown.
Volunteer Karen Powell meets Mr Miller
Discussing some of the financial realities faced by the Centre, during a tour of the Youth Zone
Pictured (l-r): Paul Davies, Andrew Miller MP, Alan Brown, Joan Joynson, Helen Barrie &