New youth facility for Lincoln’s Abbey ward

A community youth centre and coffee house is set to open on Monks Road, in Lincoln’s Abbey Ward, by the end of April.

The Off The Bench youth organisation will run the centre, with support from the Home Office and the Community Against Crime: Innovation Fund.

The centre, in partnership with city and county councils, StreetGames, Lincolnshire Police and several key agencies will offer advice and guidance and a hub for young people to meet up, hang out and relax in a welcoming environment.

Incorporated into the space, is a one-to-one area, whereby young people can discuss any issues and seek guidance with a member of staff in a private area.

Young people will also be encouraged to become involved in community projects through volunteering.

It is envisaged that young people that use the facility will begin developing projects of their own in the neighbourhood, and then help delivering them through the support of Off The Bench.

Paul Carrick, Neighbourhood Manager for the City of Lincoln Council said: “This provides an excellent opportunity to engage young people in the activities taking place within the neighbourhood.”

The building will also serve as a coffee and shake bar with various popular hot and cold drinks available to all to enjoy, open from 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week.

Maintenance and renovation work is already underway and the venue will be opened officially in April.

The Abbey ward has some of the highest rate of crime and anti-social behaviour in Lincoln.

Inspector Patrick Coates of the Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The police welcome and fully support anything that will give activities for young people to do.

“This facility will be fantastic for young people and the police look forward to working with Off The Bench in the development and running of the facility.”

Off The Bench looks to engage those NEET (Not in education, employment and training) in positive activities and also motivate them to consider their options and the opportunities that are available to them in achieving future success.

Staff in the facility will talk through training, apprenticeships, education and employment, whilst also offering advice on CV enhancement and development, with support from Lincolnshire County Council’s Careers Service.