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Lotto win for club

ORGANISERS of a Bognor Regis youth club are celebrating being given their biggest grant.


The 39 Club has been awarded nearly £10,000 from the Big Lottery Club to improve its premises.


Chairman Vicky Hennessy said the £9,810 would be spent on a range of projects at its premises off Church Path in Glamis Street.


These included desks, chairs, materials to decorate the store room, a table tennis table, artboards, laptops and stationery.


“This is the biggest grant we have had and the only one – apart from money from Bognor Regis and Bersted councils,” she said.


“The money is going to make a tremendous difference to us.


“It means we can make the club a bit more modern. It’s a bit delapidated and stuck in the 1960s.


“The club is becoming established. It’s good to know that. It has been seven years of hard work to get this far.


“I think it will become more well known through word of mouth than through social media.”


The club opened in February, 2017, for 11-14-year-olds in an annexe of the premises of the original 39 Club, which had closed many years earlier. But it had taken Mrs Hennessy and her original helpers several years to get approval from the building’s owner, West Sussex County Council, to open.


The club meets from 4pm-6pm on Tuesdays and this week’s session attracted eight young people – the best attendance for some weeks.


Those young people enjoyed the first week with three theatre BA (Hons) degree course students from the University of Chichester.


Ellie Woods, Amy Webb and Chloe Holland will spend some five weeks at the club applying art to help its members. This will involve painting the storage room and seeking the children’s help to devise a website.


Chichester resident Ellie, 20, said: “The children are really lively and have a lot of positive energy and are very willing to contribute.


“What is important about this module we are doing is the effect that art has on the children.


“We also want to focus on the positive aspects of the internet. The internet can be dangerous, and the children are young, and we want to tell them the good points about it.”


She was aware of the 39 Club through her visits in the past year to the county council’s FindItOut centre, which occupies the rest of the former youth club.


Mrs Hennessy said she was also seeking new committee members and a secretary to help with its running.


It was seeking further funds from the county’s Lions clubs at a presentation in Chichester next Thursday as they assessed which youth clubs to back.


Any grant would be put towards continuing to hire the youth worker, Vicky Mitchell, who had been a big help since she started, she added.

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