New youth club to be opened in Wells

A NEW youth club will soon be opening its doors in Wells.

YMCA Brunel Group is hoping to launch the club in May in the Connect Centre.

It will be specifically tailored for young people aged 10-19, with the opportunity to attend for those up to 25 years old with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The initiative has been commissioned by Wells City Council, which has agreed to provide £15,000 to fund it for a year, initially.

YMCA Brunel Group says that the aim of the club is to provide a vibrant and inclusive space for young individuals to connect, learn, and grow. It says it is committed to creating a safe and welcoming space where young people can come together, form friendships, explore new interests and help them become good neighbours.

The club will be led by experienced youth worker Natalie Walton, and two other youth workers are currently being recruited. They will be engaging with young people in parks and the city centre, and hope to be able to go into schools, to start building relationships and find out what young people want in their youth club.

“We are thrilled to launch this much-needed youth club in Wells,” said Natalie.

“Our aim is to create a space where young people can be themselves, have fun, and build meaningful connections. We believe in the power of community and are excited to work alongside Wells City Council to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in this area.”

The club will run once a week on Mondays during term time. It will offer an array of activities and programmes catered to the interests and needs of its members, which might include art, games, music, workshops and conversations.

Interested individuals can sign up by visiting the YMCA Brunel  Group website or email Natalie directly at

People can also contact Natalie with ideas about what they would like the youth club to offer.

Mark Willcox, Director of Youth and Community at YMCA Brunel  Group, said that there used to be a YMCA youth club at The Old Glasshouse building in South Street but that stopped several years ago. He said of the new venture: “We look forward to expanding our work in Wells and welcoming young people from the Wells community and creating a space where they can thrive, learn, and have fun.”

YMCA Brunel Group run several youth clubs elsewhere, including Glastonbury and Shepton Mallet.

Councillor Philip Welch has led the campaign for a youth club in Wells. He said: “Wells doesn’t offer our young people enough positive things to do outside school.

“They need a place of their own where they decide what they want to do.

“This will help them develop their confidence and talents – and encourage more to connect positively with our community here in the city.

“We need more of our young people to stay here longer and make Wells a more vibrant place.

“We don’t want Wells to become known just as an oasis for retired people and care homes.”

Karen Deverell is a former chief executive of YMCA Mendip, and was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to young people in Somerset.

She said: “I was delighted to hear that the YMCA are to be developing youth work in our city. It is positive that Wells City Council are investing in children and young people who might want to have a place to call their own.

“I know from my many years of working for the YMCA that Mark Willcox, Natalie Walton and their team will work with young people to create a programme that provides a warm welcome to all.

“I have witnessed the growth of positive, trusting relationships that have grown from youth work and a programme that enables an environment that is fun, safe, engaging and interesting.

“Knowing the YMCA, they will want children and young people to have their say about what they want and I would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to do just that.  Modern youth provision is so much more than just a weekly game of table tennis.”