Rockbourne Youth Club (Rockbourne Rd) has been a haven for young people in SE23 for a quarter of a century. The club is open Friday nights for under 13’s and Thursdays for seniors. Special needs and specialist clubs are run on other evenings. Many young people today don’t have access to a safe outdoor space so a club like Rockbourne is vital to the community. The club also runs holiday programmes to provide a productive, supportive and safe environment during school holidays.
On a typical night, about 22 – 30 young people attend Rockbourne. They can play sport in the gym, table tennis, pool and table football. There are also more structured, adult-led sessions. These comply with the Government’s new strategy for education – Every Child Matters – which is all about keeping safe and healthy, enjoyment and making a positive contribution to society. At the moment, Rockbourne is using Arts and Sports sessions to focus on these goals. And the club is sending young people to Millwall on the ‘Junior Sports Leader award’ scheme.
A popular room is the computer suite, donated by a local hostel resident. When he came into some money, he decided that Rockbourne was a worthy cause. The ‘John Jolly computer suite’ provides the young people with safe, monitored computer access and training in computer skills.
Lewisham Youth Service provides the grant for the running of the building and a management committee oversees the spending of funds. Any additional money has to be raised by the Club. Recently the club raised £10,000 for a new bus minibus with the Variety Club finding the balance. ‘Girls Aloud’ presented the bus to the club in a West End presentation!
The Club is regularly inspected and all volunteers have to be CRB checked by Lewisham Council. The venue can be hired and many other local organizations regularly use this space.
BUT….. running a club like this takes commitment from the staff, the volunteers and the Rockbourne Youth Club committee. Help is always needed, especially from people who can play an active role on the committee, volunteer for sessions or help with general maintenance. In particular, the Club is looking for a treasurer and fund raisers. If you think you can help the Forest Hill Society can put you in touch, please contact us by email.