EPIC new youth hub in the Frenchgate Centre

The EPIC Hub is a brand new youth facility opened in the Frenchgate Centre this week. It has been designed with the help of young people to provide a safe and inspiring place for teenagers of Doncaster to visit in their leisure time.

Opening on Thursday 9th December at 4.30pm the hub will give the opportunity for young people to learn new skills and take part in creative and sporting activities with their friends. The Hub will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4.30pm to 8.30pm, with plans to open every day in January.

Karen Staniforth, General Manager Frenchgate Shopping Centre, added:

“We understand the importance of getting young people involved in their Town Centre. Many of these young people are already use the shopping centre regularly as customers. We are excited to get involved in this innovative project, which enables our partners at EPIC to meet and support young people on a regular basis. The Hub will be located on the ground floor of the centre.”

The EPIC Hub will be managed by Team EPIC a Young People's Crime Prevention Programme delivered through Doncaster Children’s Services Trust.

EPIC’s dedicated team of youth workers will deliver a range of sessions from urban street art workshops, spoken word poetry, to educational support including young people accessing work experience, coding workshops, catch up learning. The team will also be delivering sessions on how to keep safe online and staying safe in our communities. There will also be some exciting retro activities from a 1980’s arcade packman challenge to our Fussball competition and arranged opportunities for the young people to take part in organised events at Flip Out, Doncaster Dome and at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Marcus Isman -Egal, Programme Manager at EPIC Youth Crime Prevention Service:

“We are so excited to be working with Frenchgate shopping Centre and South Yorkshire Police, alongside our partners at the Interchange and Doncaster Council to create an innovative “Safe Zone” for young people.

"This space will be provided to explore the world of work and enterprise along with participating in positive activities. There will also be opportunities for bookable coaching and mentoring appointments for young people and small support groups. These will be provided to any young person facing challenges or seeking to make changes for themselves or their community.”

The Hub has been developed in a collaboration between the ‘Young Advisers,’ The Frenchgate Centre, Transport Interchange, Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, Doncaster Council, South Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police.

The Hub will support young people through positive intervention to help each young person’s individual needs and circumstances. It will also support their emotional wellbeing, self-development and self-awareness and teach about the risks that young people can be exposed to and to avoid the dangerous distractions of anti-social behaviour and crime.

Funded by a grant from South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit Graham Jones, Head of South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “This is an excellent example of organisations working together to support young people.

“Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and their partners are providing a safe place for young people to come and spend some time, discuss their issues and be listened to in a secure environment that will help them process their feelings.

“The awareness raising offer will also mean that young people have the right information to make the right choices should the need arise.”

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said:

‘Supporting young people and ensuring they don’t fall into crime and anti-social behaviour is essential to give them the best possible start in life.

‘I’m pleased that tailored support will be available at the new EPIC Youth Hub in the Frenchgate Centre, particularly as this has been co-designed by local young people who will be using the service.’

We are very fortunate that the Frenchgate Centre has provided a high quality space and I encourage all young people who visit the town centre to call in the ‘Epic Hub’ and see what’s on offer. This is a great example of how the business community and public services can work together in powerful partnership to address the complex challenges facing young people.

Pat Hagan, Head of Localities and Town Centre, Learning and Opportunities at Doncaster Council said: “We are very fortunate that the Frenchgate Centre has provided a high quality space and I encourage all young people who visit the town centre to call into the ‘Epic Hub’ and see what’s on offer. This is a great example of how the business community and public services can work together in powerful partnership to address the complex challenges facing young people.”

The launch is set to follow Covid-19 safety measures. This safety guidance will continue to mirror government guidance going forward in order to keep all who use the Hub safe from risk.

You can find out more about the work of EPIC here Visit: www.epicdoncaster.co.uk

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