A high-profile campaign to save Goal Line Youth Centre has ended in success with the final of the three clubs which use it set to return next Friday.
Increased funding from the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB), along with other donations, have put the project back on a sound, financial footing and the junior club has been given the green light to resume after a year’s closure.
There was an outcry from parents last September when news broke that the centre would have to close due to funding problems.
Goal Line was used by disabled as well as able-bodied children and many parents argued the centre was the only service of its kind in the area.
The campaign to keep the centre open was supported by a number of politicians and a fundraising drive began in earnest, with the result that the senior club and the Youth Reach club, for children with disabilities, managed to keep going.
However, there was not enough funding for the junior club, which caters for up to 120 children between the ages of seven and 11, and it has not been operating since last September.
This week’s news has been greeted with delight, according to Maxine Chambers, who is in charge of the juniors. She said she had been getting texts and phonecalls from people wanting to know when the children could go back.
She said. “It was always very popular. The children do arts and crafts, there are computer games, trips out, a big screen for DVDs and a hall where they play all types of sports.”
The junior club will resume on September 13 from 6-8pm and will run every Friday evening and Saturday afternoon from 3-5pm.
Nikki Cinamond, chairperson of the management committee, said, “We want to say a big thank-you to the SELB and to parents, friends and volunteers for their fundraising efforts.”
The senior club meets on Monday and Thursday and the Youth Reach group on Tuesday and Saturday.