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Youngsters enjoy a happy, healthy Halloween

30 October 2012

By Alison Crawley, Communications Manager, BIG Yorkshire and the Humber region

On a dark, dark night in a dark, dark town in West Yorkshire, BIG joined the Bingley Youth Cafe as they prepared for their Halloween celebrations.

As the witching hour approaches, the young people at the cafe are making preparations. This year they’ll be able to test their nerve and courage with gory food tasting challenges, relax and have fun carving pumpkins or enjoy a cook-and-eat session making healthy pumpkin soup.

Paula Stone, Youth Café development worker, said: “Last year’s Halloween celebrations were a huge success. Lots of young people were attracted to the café where they could play Halloween games or take scary challenges. These events enable us to engage with young people and build relationships so that we can ensure that they know what help is available.”

Bingley Youth Café received close to £500,000 in 2010 from BIG’s Reaching Communities programme to transform the basement of a swimming pool building into a vibrant, welcoming space for local young people. The cafe project opens its doors to those aged 13 – 19 years old and caters for all abilities.

It’s not only a safe and inviting place to come to and socialise with others, as those who run it for the benefit of young people are also on hand to give careers guidance, sexual health advice, drugs and alcohol support and help for those who are homeless.

Bingley Youth Cafe

Sessions encourage a healthy lifestyle

Since opening in July 2011, the café’s safe surroundings in which young people can have fun, relax and meet friends have proven popular.

Over 350 young people signed up to be part of it and now enjoy cooking sessions and arts and crafts classes alongside a range of other activities run by trained youth workers.

A young persons’ management committee allows its members to take part in decision making in the café, meaning they have a real say in how things are run.

Toni Leigh, young persons’ management committee member, said: “Having the Youth Café has given me a better chance in life as it’s given me support and helped me to develop my CV.”

Membership is free for young people. For more information or to get involved contact Paula Stone on 01274 561 305 or email

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