Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth youth centre faces 'uncertain future' as it celebrates 30 years

A youth centre is celebrating 30 years of helping the young people of a market town but it has said it faces an "uncertain future" due to financial struggles.

Young people at The Bridge

The Bridge Youth Centre in Bridgnorth has been running two evening sessions each week in its Whitburn Street centre for three decades.

The centre, which includes a café, a disco venue, a computer suite and a games room with a pool and air hockey table, saw more than 150 young people visit The Bridge last year.

However, organisers have ramped up their fundraising efforts in a bid to keep the centre open as it faces "challenging times".

Becky Jennings, a trustee since the very beginning, said: “It would be a real shame if The Bridge had to close after all these years. We are determined to secure its future by our fundraising and recruiting of more volunteers.”

Keith Bowley, chair of trustees added: “We don’t receive any statutory support. The Bridge is funded totally by generous local businesses, charities and individuals and has been struggling to break-even in recent years.

"We really appreciate every penny of support we receive and are determined to keep The Bridge open for another 30 years.”

Some of the young people that use the centre have explained its importance to them.

One teenager who uses the centre, said: “To me the Bridge is my home, it’s where I feel safe and I don’t know what I would do or where I would be if The Bridge wasn’t there to help me.”

Another added: “The Bridge helped me through mental health problems, losing family members, alcohol and drug misuse; they were there with me the whole way through…I’m really grateful for everything the team have done for me.”

In the New Year, The Bridge is planning to launch a daily After School Drop-In to provide a safe place for young people after school.

And on Friday, December 1, it will also hold an open evening from 5.30pm to 6.30pm when everyone is welcome to see the facilities and meet some of the team where they hope to attract more members and new volunteers.

As part of their fundraising plans, The Bridge is also taking part in the Big Give Christmas Campaign, where they aim to raise £6,000 in donations with every donation being match-funded up to a further £6,000.

The Campaign runs from 28th November to 5th December. More information is available on the Bridge website: