New youth shelter unveiled in Ferndown

A new 22-seat youth shelter has been installed on a Ferndown estate to help tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour.

The hexagonal shelter arrived on the Heatherlands estate in East Dorset to provide young people with a safe place to meet.

It has been placed alongside the BMX track on Ford Lane and comes with solar panels on the roof to power a low-level ambient light activated by a movement sensor.

The community project was led by Police Constable Julian Humphries, on behalf of the Heatherlands PACT (Partners and Communities Together), and compliments the extensive improvements made by Ferndown Town Council to the football pitch and nearby paths.

The youth shelter follows the opening of a new BMX track on the estate earlier this year.

PC Humphries said: “The aim of both projects is to reduce anti-social behaviour by giving local youths a place where they can meet away from local residents and businesses.

“It has been my pleasure to work on the estate for 11 years and each year things have been improving. This latest project is a fine example of partnership working, providing local youths with their own safe and resilient place to meet.”   

Ninety per cent of the £10,000 cost of the project was funded by Synergy Housing through their Neighbourhood Toolkit Fund. 

Julie Robinson, chair of Synergy Housing’s local neighbourhood panel, said: “This will be an excellent resource for young people living on the Heatherlands estate and all over Ferndown. 

“It’s great that we’ve been able to support the funding of a project like this through the Neighbourhood Toolkit. It will make such a difference to the local community.”

The remaining funds were met by East Dorset District Council, Ferndown South Neighbourhood Watch and the Heatherlands Community Association.

John Hanrahan, Heatherlands community leader, said: “This is a much needed facility for the older teenagers giving them their own space.”

Douglas Lock, chair of Ferndown South Neighbourhood Watch, added: "This shelter is long awaited, sorely needed and will be much appreciated.

“It is a welcome improvement to the Ford Lane recreation area and the Neighbourhood Watch help for this shelter is in tune with their aspirations for improving life in local communities."

Cllr Steven Lugg, deputy Mayor of Ferndown, said: “I have been determined since joining council in 2008 to improve Ford Lane Recreation Ground facilities to an appropriate standard.  With the support of community colleagues, such as PC Julian Humphries, we have achieved this together for the Heatherlands community.”

ISSUED: 4 November 2013

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