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Thriving Youth Centre at Eynsham

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Search Eynsham Youth Centre on the Oxfordshire County Council website, and you'll find the following quote from a satisfied customer:

"we are very happy that we don't have to worry any more about it shutting down and that we still have somewhere to stay out of trouble and have fun and chill out."

Search Eynsham Youth Centre on the Oxford Mail website, and you'll find the following from Council Leader Keith Mitchell:

"Youngsters are perfectly capable of being responsible young adults who do not indulge in antisocial behaviour with or without youth centres."

Leaving aside the contradiction between the views of Mr Mitchell and those on the Council's website, does Mr Mitchell have a point? Well, evidence suggests that youth centres that offer structured activities will help young people avoid anti social behaviour, whereas centres with less structure can have the opposite effect. The quality of the relationship between 'staff' and centre users is crucial. Eynsham Youth Centre is clearly a positive influence: it has a good range of activities, along with staff skilled in forming positive relationships. It's a good example of community glue. Mr Mitchell hopes"parents, schools and volunteers could provide alternative support to that provided by the council". Well, yes indeed, they already do, but running an effective youth centre or activity also takes time, skill, knowledge, experience and commitment...and some resources.

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