Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Minehead EYE celebrates second anniversary
A COMMUNITY venue in Minehead is celebrating its second anniversary and a raft of achievements in that time.
Young people in the town started voicing their desire for a skate park ten years ago, and following a long process and £250,000 from West Somerset Council and a £3.2million Myplace grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Minehead EYE opened its doors in August 2010.
Since then it has evolved and stages a variety of events and runs courses such as graffiti workshops and music sessions to suit a range of ages.
Director Molly Studley said: “It was really hard going in the first year but we have done what we hoped to do, which is give kids in West Somerset something to do, to raise their aspirations and to build a community centre.
“Local kids are here a lot – they are all desperate to help. We have about 40 volunteers, which is incredible. They do make a huge difference. We wouldn’t be able to do everything without them.
“The basic model for the EYE is self-sustaining and then we apply for funding for special projects we run. But we are a not-for-profit organisation and financial support is always greatly appreciated. We just want to keep growing and getting our name out there a bit better – not just in Minehead but across the region.”
Ben Pye, 12, has volunteered at the centre for a year, helping out with the scooter school, cafe and in reception.
He said: “I heard about the EYE in a school assembly and had just started scooting, too, so I decided to check it out. I spend most of my spare time here now – it stops me hanging around on the streets because there’s a place to go.
“I scoot loads and that takes up all my energy, then when I go to bed I don’t stay up all night playing computer games.
“I enjoy volunteering here because it makes me feel a part of something and I want to keep the place going and know it needs help.
“To anyone thinking about coming in, I’d say go for it, it’s a great place and you’ll love it as soon as you get there.”