A YOUTH club is being opened at a community centre, despite the closure of similar facilities nearby due to a lack of funding.

The withdrawal of money from young people’s services in Consett and Leadgate has led to two clubs being to shut down recently.

But the first session at Crookhall Community Centre, near Delves Lane, is being held on Monday night.

Chris Shield, chairman of Crookhall Community Association, who also runs youth football teams from the centre, said: “There is not very much for children to do around here at the minute so we are very supportive of this.”

Monday night sessions are aimed at young people aged eight to 12 and run from 4.30pm-6.30pm.

Senior sessions, for teenagers aged 13-19, are held on Wednesdays from 5pm-7pm.

Both sessions will include crafts, football, sporting activities, board games, outdoor activities, cooking sessions and a tuck shop.

For older children, there will also be sessions to help them learn about the dangers of drink and drugs, bullying, social media and sexual health matters.

Crookhall Community Association Youth Club will be led by youth worker Kimberley Laddie and a team of five youth workers.

The 28-year-old, from Moorside, who has just finished a degree in community and youth worker studies at Sunderland University, said: “It is very important to have a facility like this because now open access youth work has been replaced by targeted youth work only young people recognised as being at risk are getting help.

“This systems means there is a risk of rising anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol use and teenage pregnancies.”

The club is being funded initially with a £10,000 Awards for All grant made up of lottery money.

The environmental charity, Groundwork North-East and Cumbria, is helping deliver the service and will be working with members on a range of projects.

Groundwork spokesman Lynne Hall said: “It will not just be environmental work, there will be one-to-one support about benefits, employment and things like that.

“It is a great base to be able to get into the community to be able to let people access the full holistic services we provide and link them up with other services.”