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Donor's Christmas gift for youth centre

PUBLISHED: 17:30 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 03 July 2010

A GENEROUS donor has helped put the smile back on the faces of youngsters at a Great Yarmouth youth centre which lost out on vital funds in a TV vote.

The Yarmouth resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, has given money to the Newtown Youth Centre so volunteers can provide a lavish Christmas party for the children on Monday.

A GENEROUS donor has helped put the smile back on the faces of youngsters at a Great Yarmouth youth centre which lost out on vital funds in a TV vote.

The Yarmouth resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, has given money to the Newtown Youth Centre so volunteers can provide a lavish Christmas party for the children on Monday.

The centre's delighted secretary Carl Harding said the money would help to pay for hot dogs and onions, as well as festive trimmings. Games have also been organised, including pass the parcel, while some of the children will be singing Christmas Carols. The children will also be receiving a special surprise present.

Last week, Carl pledged to continue the fight to secure funding for a new state-of-the-art centre following the disappointment of missing out on £50,000 following a phone vote to decide whether the Yarmouth centre or an Essex-based counselling service should receive the money from ITV's People's Millions Lottery fund.

However, he also told the Mercury he was concerned about the health and safety of children using the Jellicoe Road centre, which came to a head on Monday when he was forced to close down early after too many youngsters crammed into the centre in a metal ship's container.

He said the children were trying to shelter from torrential rain and had sought refuge in the building, which is raised above ground level. The heavy rain makes the health and safety fears even worse because the steps leading up to the centre can become wet and slippery.

“We had to close early on Monday because it was getting quite worrying at one stage due to the poor weather. It was just too much because we had too many children inside the building. For health and safety reasons, if anything had happened we would have been in trouble,” Carl said.

The centre was targeted by arsonists on October 27, but youngsters managed to get the centre up-and-running again in time for the phone vote.

The fire destroyed much of the centre's equipment, but the community rallied to replace much of the property damaged or stolen.

The centre has so far received £32,000 from the Norfolk Youth Fund for the new centre.

Anyone who wishes to donate to the centre can call Carl on 07807 007183.

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