Teens dance to their own tune at new youth space

Four teenage girls in Merton had more than one reason to celebrate last Friday as the doors of the new “KG Youth Space” opened in Morden for the first time with a formal ceremony and disco dancing.

The new youth space, located in King George’s Playing Fields, Lower Morden, is the result of many months of planning and hard work by the girls who had a vision for changing the way local young people spend their Friday evenings.

The Mayor of Merton, Councillor Martin Whelton and Merton Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Debbie Shears attended the opening to meet the girls and their parents and praise them for their hard work and commitment.

Early this year the four young women – Emily Morris, Emma Martin, Tamara Elliot and
Georgina Mitchell – identified the need for a space where young people in the area could meet and take part in activities on a regular basis.

Together, the girls submitted a successful application to the youth opportunities fund outlining the benefits of such a space for local young people in the area and the types of activities that it would have on offer.

Councillor Debbie Shears, cabinet member for children’s services says:

“This is a wonderful example of young people in Merton taking responsibility for, and ownership of, a project that is beneficial to the entire community.

“The vision, maturity and dedication that these young women have shown in pulling this project together is something to be celebrated and praised. It was lovely to meet each of the girls and to see other young people enjoying this new space that they have worked so hard to get up and running.”

The “KG Youth Space” is open to all young people aged between 13 and19 years old in the Lower Morden area. Young people will be able to make the most of themed evenings with organised activities, electronic games, cooking and food preparation activities, sexual health education nights and fundraising events.

The space will be open every Friday evening from 6pm-9pm.

Notes to editors:

· The youth opportunities fund is controlled by a panel of young people who are nominated by the Merton Youth Parliament and Merton’s UK Youth Parliament MPs.

· Since the launch of the youth opportunities fund in Merton in 2006, more than 50 local groups or projects targeted at young people have received grants totaling more than £250,000. For more information about the youth opportunities fund visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/youthopportunityfund