Devizes Youth Centre’s last goodbye

Nicky Lockyer, back, Emily Banks, Lester Fuller, Chris Wild and Arthur Sorrell mark the end of the centre

Justin Leonard, left, a youth worker in 1970/72, and Mike Blanchard, a youth worker from 1983 to 2006, reminisce

Devizes Youth Centre workers have been trying to put names to the people pictured in this Christmas party line-up

First published in News

Young people and youth workers held a celebration event to mark the closure of Devizes Youth Centre.

More than 200 people connected to the youth centre went to The Green on Saturday afternoon to enjoy a DJ playing music and a barbecue. Representatives from Devizes Canoe Club and Devizes Budo Club had information stands.

The youth centre opened on the site in 1979. It has closed due to cost-cutting by Wiltshire Council and the number of youth workers has been cut county-wide from 144 part-time to 25 full-time posts.

Sarah Howes, team leader at Devizes Youth Centre, said: “It was a lovely event and we had lots of young people attend. We also had previous managers of the centre and youth workers attend. Out of six managers, we had four who came along and shared memories. Some parents who attended as youngsters were also there.

“While people were happy they were celebrating the work of Devizes Youth Centre, they were sad that it is the end. I have been at Devizes Youth Centre since last September and on average we had 25 to 30 young people per night and it has had 70 per night.”

Ms Howes is one of the workers being made redundant. She has got a new job at an educational trust in Swindon.

Under the new arrangements, Sally Willox will be the community youth officer for Devizes.

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