SPRINGFIELD YOUTH GROUP celebrated its official opening on Friday 1st September 2017 with members, their families, youth workers and invited guests at Springfield Parish Centre's Daffodil Room.

The community-led youth group engages with 11-17 year-olds from Springfield, Chelmer Village and Beaulieu Park and has been running every Friday since 30th June, throughout the summer holidays.

Their weekly club nights provide a secure and safe environment for young people in school years 7-11 to socialise with friends, make new ones, and pursue activities without fear of crime, bullying and violence.

The not-for-profit group formed in January 2017, as SYG's Chairperson and founder, Shirley, explains:

"I was seeing posts regarding anti-social behaviour on social media that were becoming more frequent, and more disturbing. I put up a post saying the young people were bored and a youth group would be a great idea, and asked if anyone would volunteer to help get this idea up and running; the community came together and I ended up with lots of volunteers. We are going from strength to strength - each week we are gaining more members. Springfield is a great community to live in - the young people need our help and direction, not our negativity. There is good in everyone, sometimes it just needs bringing to the surface."

Amongst the many guests welcomed by SYG's regular members, committee and volunteer youth workers on the night were representatives from Chelmsford Community Radio, Community Policing Team, Springfield & Chelmer Village Community Hub, Neighbourhood Watch, Springfield Parish and Chelmsford City Councils, Essex Youth Services, The Bishops and Boswells Schools and Spencer Clarke, Public Protection Officer at Chelmsford City Council.

Everyone enjoyed delicious cupcakes, chocolate cake and brownies, gifted by Champagne Dreams, Peanut's Brownie Bar and members of the local community. Helium-filled balloon bouquets donated by Tiffany's Balloons, live music, colourful bunting, fairy lights and glo-sticks all added to the party mood.

A very special guest appearance by local musician Erin LeCount was the highlight of the evening. Finalist in ITV's The Voice Kids 2017 and a student at The Boswells School, Erin officially cut the ribbon and treated the crowd to a moving and luminous musical performance. She also presented members with a National Lottery "Big Lottery Fund" cheque for £7750, for much-needed equipment.

Entirely community-led and run by volunteers, Springfield Youth Group is hugely grateful for the support of Essex Youth Services, Springfield Parish Council, Essex Police, Charles David Casson, Springfield Neighbourhood Watch, Essex Community Foundation, Swan Housing Association, and The National Lottery's "Big Lottery Fund".

The group would welcome help from any local businesses or volunteers who also want to encourage positive change in Springfield.

More details are available on the group’s Facebook page: SYG (Springfield Youth Group)

Email: springfieldsyg@gmail.com for information about membership, volunteering, donating and sponsorship.

Links: GoFundMe appeal


Springfield and Chelmer Village - local community hub

Essex Activities website

Press coverage
http://www.chelmsfordweeklynews.co.uk/news/15503537.___Our_group_gives_youn g__people_safe_place_to_go___/

http://m.essexlive.news/springfield-residents-rally-to-create-youth-group/story- 30260456-detail/story.html ________________________________________________________________

SYG Press / Media contact:

Rose Moore, Press & Publicity Officer Springfield Youth Group

07561 842070 (SYG mobile)

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