Hailsham Youth Service is pleased to announce that it has reopened some of its centres from this week, in line with the latest guidance concerning social distancing and coronavirus protection measures.
Hailsham Town Council's youth centres are to gradually open their doors again, with the reopening of the Square Youth Cafe in the town centre on weekdays and newly established Hellingly Youth Hub on Wednesday evenings.
Hailsham Youth Service, which provides activities, support services and opportunities for young people in the local area, had to close its centres and suspend all its face-to-face activities during the previous lockdowns, although in response to the COVID-19 and in liaison with Sussex Police, the Service remobilised its detached provision last summer to support young people during the pandemic and continue to maintain a presence in the town.
However, it has proven to be extremely beneficial to be able to engage face-to-face once more and youth workers are pleased to announce the reopening of two of its centres as of this week.
"Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking closely at COVID-19 guidance from both the National Youth Agency and the Government for the reopening of our youth facilities, to make sure we can make it the safest environment possible for young people and youth workers," said Andy Joyes, youth project coordinator at Hailsham Town Council.
"The Square Youth Cafe, for example, will look and feel considerably different for those attending and there will be strict measures in place to ensure that the required social distancing and hygiene measures are practised at all times."
"Having said that, it will be very good for the youth worker team to see everyone again. We’ve missed them, and we will endeavour to provide as many fun activities as possible in the coming months whilst operating under these measures."

From this week, to maximise the opportunity for young people to join them, the Square Youth Cafe will be running multiple sessions on weekday afternoons and evenings:

  • AFTERNOONS (3.15-5pm):  Monday and Tuesday - School Year 7 / Thursday and Friday - School Year 8
  • EVENINGS (6.45-9pm): Monday - School Year 9 / Wednesday - School Year 10 / Friday - School Year 11

The new Hellingly Youth Hub also opens from this week, taking place on Wednesday evenings:

  • SESSION 1 (5.30pm-7pm): School Years 6-8
  • SESSION 2 (7.30pm-9pm): School Years 9-12

The most significant change for all sessions is that that is a restriction on the number of young people allowed at the centre at any one time, and that everyone who enters the premises wear a face covering at all times.

Additionally, in order to attend a session (as with all Hailsham Youth Service activities for the foreseeable future), registration will need to be completed online on the Hailsham Youth Service website: Young people will not be allowed entry onto the premises without prior registration and will be granted entry on a first come first served basis.

Deputy youth project coordinator Helen Deane commented: "As per government guidelines, we will be observing social distancing measures inside the Square Youth Cafe and Hellingly Youth Hub buildings and limiting the number of people attending sessions. All staff and volunteers will be wearing face coverings to protect young people, and young people attending will be required to wear them too."

"We have hand-sanitising stations around the cafe and will be encouraging young people to wash their hands on a regular basis. In between sessions, our staff and volunteers will ensure that all fixtures and surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned and are ready to be used again safely."

The Monday Youth Hub, which offers sports and games at the James West Community Centre, is scheduled to be reinstated soon, and Friday Night Project activity sessions are expected to be reintroduced later this year.

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