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Tenterden Town Council is investing £20,000 in a new programme for the town’s young people, including street sessions to reach those who would not normally go to the local Youth Cafe.


The council has teamed up with Sk8side, the Ashford-based community interest company, which has provided design input and advice on Tenterden’s new skatepark, scheduled to be built on the Recreation Ground next year.


Now, Sk8side has been given an additional brief to extend their existing work managing the twice-weekly Youth Cafe sessions at Highbury Hall, which will re-locate to a new youth hub next year as part of the Recreation Ground revamp.


Sk8side – which has more than 300 members in Ashford - will also be offering an additional ‘outreach’ service in Tenterden, going out onto the streets to engage difficult-to-reach local youngsters who would not normally go to the Youth Café.


Explains Town Clerk Phil Burgess: “The Sk8side team have had great success in reaching young people in Ashford, and channelling their talents into productive outcomes.”


A key element of the Sk8side offering is to help move young people from being NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) onto workshops to improve their personal and social skills, backed up with a work placement scheme.


There are also programmes on drug awareness, sexual health and housing, as well as encouraging youngsters to run day trips to help build their confidence and organisational abilities.