Petworth's Sylvia Beaufoy Centre to reopen with new ‘outstanding’ opportunities

Young people in Petworth can expect a booming range of opportunities and exciting projects as the Sylvia Beafoy centre plans it’s grand re-opening.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 5:50 pm

Dan Sneller is the senior youth and community development manager at the centre after taking the role in January last year.

Bursting with energy and ideas, Dan is hoping to up the ante with new and exciting projects that Petworth youths can get involved in.

Dan said: “Covid put a massive stop to all my plans but I have been doing all I can in that time with the resources I have got. Like everybody, this year has not gone as we’ve planned at at all. We are taking really big strides and my aim is to really turn things around.

Senior youth and community development manager Dan Sneller with his daughter Harriet

“Before I came in to the role it was really important but it was a drop-in centre with no real projects in place apart from one I was volunteering for.

“Since then we have started running a Duke of Edinburgh Award – the only one in Petworth – and so much more.

“I’m all about providing as many outstanding opportunities for young people to do as possible.

“I want to have this like when you go into a restaurant and you look at the menu of what’s on offer. That’s what I want to do and that’s what I want them to think when they walk through the door.

“I did something similar when I was younger and it was outstanding.”

Dan said he expects the uptake of the centre’s new projects to take off once restrictions are lifted and the centre opens its doors again on April 12. “I am bracing myself,” he added.

During the pandemic, the centre has been offering remote cooking lessons teaching young people to cook dishes ranging from cottage pie to roast pheasant and butternut squash gratin.

The centre has also invested in mountain bikes for its Thursday ‘Get Active’ sessions.

The challenge now is to source funding to help provide the services and invest in personnel and a mini-bus.

Dan added: “We have got to fundraise for our Green Power project which we need another £6,000 for. We are also in need of about £11,000 for our minibus and £5,000 for the Duke of

Edinburgh Award. The rest of the funding is for staffing.

“We have got match funding in process with English Woodland Timber in Cocking who will match our fundraising to the value of £10,000 for our staffing costs. We have four workers and myself who need their wages covered and it is one of the biggest drains on our funding. It would really make a huge difference – we can’t go on forever without the right funding.”

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