Teen Chill is a unique, youth-focused initiative launching on Friday 17th November at the Jubilee Centre in Mildenhall, which aims to tackle anti-social behaviour by providing young people aged eleven to sixteen, with a safe space to get together and socialise.
Abbeycroft Leisure already successfully runs Teen Chill in Brandon and Newmarket and thanks to funding from Mildenhall Town Council, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner – Tim Passmore and Western Suffolk Community Safety Partnership, Abbeycroft has now been able to offer the weekly Friday night sessions in Mildenhall.
Abbeycroft’s Active Communities Team identified the gap in provision in Mildenhall by working with local agencies, community groups and importantly, talking to young people about what they want to do and where they want to do it. Sessions are deliberately not structured, however, youth workers and volunteers are there to provide support and a positive role model for the young people who attend.
The activities available have been requested by the youngsters themselves, such as computer games, board games, music, sports, dodgeball, arts and plenty of areas for relaxing and talking.
Charlie Potter, Active Communities Manager at Abbeycroft said:
“We’re so pleased to be getting this initiative up and running in Mildenhall, which has been achieved by working with our partners and local people to find out what is needed. Delivering our programmes in community settings such as The Jubilee Centre means that we get to the heart of the community.”
“We’ve seen the success of Teen Chill in other West Suffolk locations and thanks to the generous support from funders, we’re now able to offer it in Mildenhall, so we really hope young people will come and give it a try.”
Cllr Ian Shipp, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture and Mayor of Mildenhall said:
“This is something that town councillor Karolina Lemiesz and myself felt was missing in terms of the provision for young people in Mildenhall and we have been pushing to get this for a while. While we have great leisure facilities, a skate park, district investment in play areas and a new pump track on the way, there wasn’t anything much for young people who want to meet and play games, relax, talk and listen to music. I am delighted that all of the funding, including money from the town council and other partners has been secured, and the first Teen Chill session in Mildenhall will take place at the end of next week.”
Cllr Donna Higgins, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Families and Communities and a representative with Cllr Shipp on the Western Suffolk Community Safety Partnership, said:
“I am passionate about ensuring activity and provision for young people to benefit both their physical and mental wellbeing, and so I am very pleased that the Community Safety Partnership has been able to support the launch of Teen Chill in Mildenhall. I know our leisure partners Abbeycroft already run Teen Chill in other parts of the district and we are actively seeking to bring something similar to Bury St Edmunds.”
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“Teen Chill is a fantastic example of partners working together to improve the life-chances of young people and I’d like to thank the Town Council and the Community Safety Partnership for joining forces with us to fund this exciting project.
“Anything we can do to keep young people out of trouble and give them purpose has my full support. I have seen at first-hand the difference that having a positive role-model can have and by providing a safe place for young people our hope is this will reduce anti-social behaviour in the area which in turn will impact positively on policing in the town.
“I wish Teen Chill and all the young people involved in the project all the best for the future.”