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New project to give teens that Friday feeling – Rhymney Valley


Community Support Officers on patrol in South Wales

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Teenagers in the Rhymney Valley are about to get that Friday feeling thanks to a new project being launched this week.


The Den, based at Pontlottyn Boys and Girls Club, will provide free activities for the area’s youngsters every Friday evening, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.


Whether you’re into sports, pool, movies or music, there’s something for you.


Lewis Parsons, a Welsh Government-funded Community Support Officer with British Transport Police, said: “We speak regularly to youngsters in the area and are frequently told there isn’t much for them to do, especially on a Friday night. As they tend to be too young to go to pubs and clubs, but are a bit too old for youth clubs, the train station often becomes a magnet as a place for them to hang out.


“The Den is here to fill that Friday night void. The aim of the project is, first and foremost, to provide meaningful activities for youngsters to take part in instead of hanging around outside, in the cold.


“While it’s a great opportunity to get involved in a range of activities and make new friends, it is also about energising them and channelling that energy in the correct way, not through messing around on the streets or on the railway.


“One of the key aims is to help them become more aware of how their behaviour impacts on the communities they live in. I hope that providing teenagers with meaningful, regular activities every Friday evening will help make them less vulnerable to making bad decisions and, subsequently, less likely to get involved in criminality.”


All sessions are free and are open to people aged 12-18.


Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, said: “I am really pleased to support the opening of this new youth provision in Pontlottyn and look forward to it becoming a popular venue for young people.


“I congratulate British Transport Police, Communities First, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Street Games and the Pontlottyn Boys and Girls Club for the work they have done to make this happen.”


The Den will be officially opened by Gerald Jones MP at 5.30pm tomorrow (Friday, 17 February). Media are welcome to join us at Pontlottyn Boys and Girls Club.

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