Get set for the youth club on wheels

A youth club on wheels in an old rock band tour bus is rolling into North Walsham at weekends - once it has been repaired.The vehicle, kitted out with games consoles, TVs, disco lighting, a sound system, sofa and kitchen is being manned by a youth worker and police community support police officer.

A youth club on wheels in an old rock band tour bus is rolling into North Walsham at weekends - once it has been repaired.

The vehicle, kitted out with games consoles, TVs, disco lighting, a sound system, sofa and kitchen is being manned by a youth worker and police community support police officer.

But the first session had to switch to another location as the roving service is currently off the road, while the 1989 bus gets its bodywork and radiator mended.

It means that other rural parishes in North Norfolk which it also visits, are having to provide youth activities elsewhere as a temporary measure.


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The bus, run by the Benjamin Foundation, should be back in action in about six weeks - and begin its new work at North Walsham.

It is aimed at giving youngsters aged 11 to 16 more activities on Friday evenings from 7pm to 11pm, in a bid to also reduce anti-social behaviour.

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The bus will be based in Stanley Road, after problems of noise and minor damage were flagged up through police community liaison sessions.

Insp Pete Hornby hoped it would be well-used through the summer - a period when anti-social problems often rose.

And there was scope to rove the project elsewhere if there was a need and funding could be found.

Police are putting �5,000 into the venture, with a similar amount coming from North Norfolk District Council - paying for the bus and its staff.

The Young Engagement Bus, nicknamed Raz because of part of its number plate, visits Walsingham on Mondays, Bacton on Tuesdays, Potter Heigham on Wednesdays and Aldborough on Thursdays.

The Benjamin Foundation's operational manager Sharon Matthews said most villages had switched to halls for the youth sessions, but at Bacton and the new North Walsham scheme youngsters were being mini-bused into the Carpenters Arms youth drop in the town.

She said the scheme had been well received, and young people were disappointed it was off the road, but it the usual service would be restored as soon as possible.

Insp Hornby said the aim at Stanley Road was not to demonise children, but to give them creative and social activities, along with a chance for youngsters to chat about issues and concerns.

Staff would also give friendly advice about the consequences of their actions in an effort to let local residents enjoy an improved quality of life.

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