History of Exchange2

By now most people in Harleston will be aware of a new building on Harleston’s recreation ground, sometimes referred to as 'The Cabin'. It is surrounded by a ramp which enables full disabled access. This building has been acquired for the use of Harleston's young people.

Some of you may not know the full story of Exchange2, so here it is:

About twelve years ago some local people got together to try and do something to help provide for the youngsters who had no place to go in their free time. A group was born known as Harleston Voluntary Youth group and it managed to acquire a little funding to run a couple of evening sessions on a temporary basis. The volunteers that ran it were all local people and were given lots of support from the Youth Service.

The group then tried to get a building in Harleston and to do that, it became necessary to register as a Charity. Again, there was much support from townspeople. A grant was given by Comic Relief which was used to fund a Youth Worker. Although there was no building yet due to lack of suitable and affordable premises the charity supported the Youth worker and provided activities, again with help from Norfolk Children’s Services, for three or four years in a number of local venues. There have been volunteers to help with these activities and some of them are indeed former users.

Getting funding for a building and then installing it was a major preoccupation for the trustees of the charity for quite a long time! The trustees are not running a business and have all got many other things to do. Funding is a challenge in itself, as well as negotiating with all willing parties to get the building up and running. The trustees are enormously grateful to all who have helped in any way.

There is time and room enough for further young people's activities that could be run by others for example, games clubs, arts etc. Rent would be affordable and the building is warm, comfortable and safe!

If you might be interested in being part of this youth provision, or you are already involved in youth activities, and would like to discuss the building, please contact the Secretary of Exchange2 – secretary@exchange2.org