To answer a need for a social meeting place for young people, identified in 1997 by a survey including Wooler Parish Council and others, the Glendale Gateway Trust gathered a group of volunteers to refurbish the derelict Reading Room at 53 High Street. The drop-in centre opened in 1999, linked with Berwick Youth Project and the Northumberland County youth service. Five years later Wooler Young Peoples Association took over the funding and management of the drop-in; as an independent Charity run by local people.
Funding has been found from many sources: local charities, statutory funds and the Big Lottery Fund. Local community support is generous and reflects the benefit the town receives from the work of the youth centre.
The drop-in is open on three evenings every week as a popular meeting place, to enjoy the recreation room, coffee bar and internet links. Experienced staff and volunteers provide friendly company and can often help young people with some of the problems in their lives. There are lots of sports and community events and this year young people ran a sideshow in the Glendale Festival.
The staff, led by Joyce Robinson, work with a small management committee of local people. Wooler can be quite an isolated community and we try to give our young people chances to experience new places and activities, which many families find hard to reach.