Youth centre's �50,000 votes plea

“GIVE us your votes!” was the call this week from volunteers at a Great Yarmouth youth centre as the countdown began to the big day when TV viewers will decide whether they should receive �50,000 of charity funding.

“GIVE us your votes!” was the call this week from volunteers at a Great Yarmouth youth centre as the countdown began to the big day when TV viewers will decide whether they should receive �50,000 of charity funding.

A massive final push is to be staged in Yarmouth Market Place on Wednesday when volunteers from Newtown Youth Centre will be handing out leaflets promoting their appeal for votes and funding from ITV's People's Millions.

Pages have also been set up on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter dedicated to the centre, where supporters can get behind the funding bid for a new, modern, youth


ITV camera crews visited the Jellicoe Road centre on Monday to film the youngsters enjoying games, arts and crafts and football played on the centre's basketball court.

Local children proved their support with 26 youngsters packing into the converted ship container for one of their regular meetings as the Anglia TVs Sascha Williams interviewed the centre's chairman Julie Harding.

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She was asked about the activities offered by the centre's six volunteers and how much it would mean to win the �50,000 funding if the public vote for them ahead of an Essex youth centre. Films of the two organisations are to be broadcast following an Anglia news bulletin on Wednesday.

Julie said: “We are optimistic that people will vote for us. Obviously they are going to see the existing facilities and it is very cramped at the moment, especially when you have got all the youngsters here.”

She added: “It is the most important thing ever that we get the votes to fund the new centre. We need

the votes, we need to win.”

Her husband Carl, the centre's secretary, thanked businesses and residents in the Yarmouth borough who had leapt to the centre's aid, donating equipment to get it reopened following a devastating burglary and arson attack at the end of last month.

He said: “Three weeks ago, I would never have thought in a million years I would be seeing what has happened here. We have put a lot of work into this and we do it because we care, we are passionate about helping local children and you can see a good many of them here today.

“We asked the people of Great Yarmouth to come forward and be the 12th man to help the centre get back on its feet and they have really excelled themselves.”

Amanda Goodrum, one of the centre's volunteers, added: “We are really excited and hoping that we are going to win, but there are no guarantees of that. The children have been really excited about the funding bid.”

Many of the youngsters were delighted to have the camera crews present, though for some it was not the first time they had appeared on TV.

Maddison Barber, 12, of Middle Market Road, Yarmouth, has appeared on TV's The Sunshine Crew and said she was excited about being on TV again.

She said: “It would be really good to win the funding. We could get a new building with more space and more modern facilities.”

Dakon Barber, 13, also of Middle Market Road, said he had previously been filmed for a TV news piece on Yarmouth beach, adding: “It would mean quite a lot to get the new building because we could get somewhere with more space to go indoors when it is raining because the current youth centre is too small for all the children.”

The phone number will be announced on Anglia on Tuesday and voting will begin on Wednesday from 9am to midnight. The voting number will be available on the People's Millions website.

A short video about both competing projects will also be shown on the ITV regional news between 6pm and 6.30pm on Wednesday.

Police have renewed appeals for information about the arson attack, which was discovered around 10am on October 27. Intruders got into the compound, broke two padlocks to gain entry to the building and stole electrical equipment, including video games.

Anyone with information should phone PC Baxter on 0845 4564567, email sntnorthyarmouth@norfolk. or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.