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Keely’s street art plan for precinct

STREET art is coming to Bognor Regis town centre next month.


Youth worker Keely Hardy is leading a group of creative young people in turning a location in the shopping area into a colourful focal point.


The Create group will be outside the former Store Twenty One in the London Road precinct on May 12 and 13 to transform its recently erected whitewashed hoarding.


She said: “We need more young people to get involved. At the moment, we only have two members coming along on a regular basis. We have got a spray can artist and we have the opportunity to spray paint that hoarding. We are going to decorate it and make it into something that is quite classy.”


The art is likely to feature the group’s name of Create to reflect a person’s creation, experiences, activities and end achievement of their lives up to 18.


“The young people we have coming along have been absolutely brilliant. We have only been meeting for a short time and to get these two young people to come up with that kind of idea is great.


“I am looking to do a project which is sustainable. There is no point me coming in for six months, building up something and then disappearing,” she said.


Last year saw the town council twice arrange for a seafront hoarding in Waterloo Square to be spray painted.


Keely began work in Bognor Regis a few weeks ago on a six month trial project for Bognor Regis Town Council through the Sussex Clubs for Young People.


She is the second youth worker on the project since it began last year. The first left after a month and Keely said she was working more hours on the scheme than the eight a week for which she was funded.


A qualified youth worker, she has 20 years’ experience and is also working with the youth council in Worthing and Adur.


“I’ve been doing 28-30 hours a week,” she told Bersted parish councillors on her first presentation to councils in the area.


“There have been a lot of studies done in and around Bognor Regis about the provision for young people. It was seen there was a need to bring in someone to engage with them and to empower them.


Keely is set to meet staff from The Regis School and Felpham Community College to gain more support. She has also been to the Trees Estate in North Bersted.


She told councillors last week she was aware of the reports of anti-social behaviour in the town centre by some young people. But she said she would not be specifically targeting them. “If I put all my work and effort into one group of young people, what about the other young people in the town? I will be missing them out,” she said.


Cllr Hugh Carey said: “I don’t feel eight hours is anywhere near sufficient for what you are doing.”


Cllr Martin Lury said Keely could go on walkabouts around the town centre to seek extra young people to get involved.


*Keely asked anyone with ideas to see her at the 39 Club off Glamis Street, from 5pm-7.30pm on Thursdays.

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