THE CHAIR of the Kenilworth Centre has defended the services they provide.
Kenilworth Town Council announced in December it would be stopping annual funding of £30,000 to the centre claiming it was not providing enough services for the town’s young people – angering and confusing the centre’s trustees and volunteers.
Chair of the trustees, John Whitehouse said the centre provided services for everyone in the community and not just young people.
But he added youth work remained a strong focus for the centre with two youth clubs for 11 to 16 year-olds on Friday evenings, as well as trained youth workers going out to popular meeting places in the town to talk about issues from bullying and relationships, to alcohol and drugs.
Kenilworth School also work with the centre with youth workers visiting twice a week to meet with students and provide a counselling and mentoring service.
Since 2012, the Abbey End centre has also provided rooms for business events and parties, and even a recording studio for musicians and would-be DJs.
Around 1,000 people visit the centre each week for dance classes, toddler groups, birthday parties, business events and the youth clubs.
Radio Abbey – Kenilworth’s own radio station – is also recorded and broadcast from the centre, and Abbey Cinema, which is held on two Saturday’s each month, screening family-friendly films.
Mr Whitehouse says the centre plays a vital role in the life of the town.
He told the Observer: “It is too easy to take for granted the services we provide. We need to secure more funding so we can carry on being a community hub for Kenilworth.
“From our position there was no dialogue about the management of the centre’s work and nothing to suggest Kenilworth Town Council would make such a decision.
“We felt like we hadn’t been given the opportunity to defend ourselves and correct misinformation but we’re not going to let their decision put a stop to the work we do.”
The centre are hoping the town council will review their decision and plan to present a revised proposition for regular funding to councillors.
Youth work can continue thanks to a grant from the Kenilworth Rotary Club and reserve funds will ensure activites at the centre won’t stop in the meantime.
Visit www.thekenilworthcentre.com for further details.