Youth worker laments lack of youth provision following latest closure
A youth worker has lamented the closure of a hostel for young people in Eye.
Jonathan Pooley believes the Flagship Foyer shutting its doors has left Eye with no provision for young people.
The facility, which offered temporary accommodation for people between the ages of 16 and 25 in need, closed at the end of December due to a ‘lack of demand’.
Mr Pooley, who worked at Eye Youth Club until its closure in 2011 to make way for a children’s centre, said: “It may have ended up that there were no Eye youngsters there, but there have been those in the past that have gained from the centre in their time of need.
“It was a great chance if they were having difficulties at home, or needed to make a break and start living independently, and they were given the opportunity to look for work, or continue their education.
“I know Eye is isolated, but that’s all the more reason to have places like these foyers.”
A Flagship spokesman, said: “The Flagship Foyer based at Eye experienced a lack of demand from young people, with the location operating at an occupancy rate of only 60 per cent which, long term, was not sustainable.
“This was partly due to poor transport links, making accessing college or employment opportunities for the young people very difficult, and therefore, we had to take the decision to close this facility.”
Mr Pooley disputed this latter point, though, and said that there is a bus in Eye which runs to and from Otley College every day.
The Flagship spokesman added that following consultation with Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Eye Town Council, it was agreed that the Flagship Foyers based in Stowmarket and Felixstowe would expand, with a “net gain of spaces to compensate for the closure of Eye.”
There were two members of staff employed at the Eye facility, in Magdalen Street, which opened in 1999.
Both were offered jobs with the same terms and conditions at the Flagship Foyer closest to Eye, with any extra home-to-work mileage expenses being paid.
The building is currently in the process of being sold.
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