New youth hub declared officially open for Wigan borough's young people
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Plans for Leigh Youth Hub began in May 2021, when 400 young people responded to a council survey and described what they most wanted from a potential new youth facility.
Coun Molyneux said: “This exciting new provision offers the young people of Leigh a safe place to find support, learn new skills and develop friendships.
“I’m immensely proud of the way the council, local young people and Leigh Sports Village have been able to work together to listen to young people to see the vision for a new young people’s meeting place in Leigh turned into a reality.”
Leigh Youth Hub opened its doors to young people at the end of 2022, offering informal activities including arts and crafts, table tennis, pool, and an Xbox, as well as a computer room, where young people can catch up on their homework in a quiet space.
There is also a relaxation space, sensory room and supervised gym, featuring the latest treadmills, rowing, and weights machines and a health and wellbeing suite – as well as a separate gym for elite athletes from clubs including Leigh Leopards and Manchester United women’s and under-21s teams.
There’s also the chance for young people to gain formal qualifications, as well as regular opportunities to sign up to weekly learning experiences, such as Taste It Tuesdays, the cookery course currently underway in the full-sized catering kitchen.
Local young people have continued to have their say and help shape the development of Leigh Youth Hub.
Reece, 15, is part of the young people’s steering group.
He said: “We had our first meeting to share ideas for the hub just over 18 months ago and it has definitely met my expectations. I love it.
“My favourite parts are the computer room and there’s an area where I’ll be able to play music, which I love doing.
“I’ve really enjoyed being part of the steering group.
"In the past I haven’t been very good at talking to adults but being involved in this project has shone a light on what adulthood is like as we’ve had to make lots of decisions.
“It’s helped me get more in tune with myself and I’m finding it much easier to talk to everyone.”
The hub is staffed by professional youth workers, who are on hand to run workshops and discussions, to listen to young people, and to help keep everyone safe, and the council’s aspiring futures team host weekly appointments at the hub to offer support and information for young people who want to talk about education or employment options.
Open access nights, when the hub is open to all young people aged 11 to 18 (and up to age 25 if you have an additional need or disability), are on Thursday and Friday evenings from 4.30pm to 6.30pm (Year 7 to 9) and 6.30pm to 8.30pm (Year 10+).
It is free to attend but all young people must get a parent / carer consent form signed before attending regularly.