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Pensioner Dance Club Left Heartbroken

Wednesday June 26 2013


We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley


PENSIONERS in their 80s and 90s who go to a dance club are being turned out of their building to make way for a 'youth hub.'

Wombwell's Barnsley Road-based Phoenix Social Club has existed for 30 years and meets at Wombwell Community Centre.

Some members have been in the club from the start and were pupils at the old primary school in the 1920s and 1930s.

They enjoy getting together with friends at the club every Wednesday and pay £2 for two hours' dancing. About 15 members regularly attend.

But they've been hit by the bombshell that their building is earmarked to become a centralised 'youth hub' - following closure of three youth clubs in Wombwell, Darfield and Worsbrough.

Brian Steer, 82, of Aldham House Lane, Wombwell, has run the club for the last eight years. He said: "It was right out of the blue. A lady from the youth service called me in and told me. It was a bit of a shaker and she made it quite clear the decision is irrevocable. I had to tell members and they're heartbroken."

Mr Steer said there were no other places in Wombwell for the club to meet. The centre had been ideal because it was on a bus route and had parking.

He added: "One member who was a pupil at the old school in 1935 said he was enjoying himself spending his last days dancing. It looks like the last waltz for us."

A spokesman from Barnsley Council said the club would not be accommodated from September.

The spokesman said: "We're sorry that we can no longer accommodate the dance group, but unfortunately the youth service has had to make savings and we have had to concentrate our provision on one site."

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14 Showing 14 comments

Reply Posted by Mick on Wednesday June 26 2013 at 14:13
There must be a pub with a function room that will accommodate them.

Reply Posted by Dawn on Wednesday June 26 2013 at 14:27
I bet there are more o.a.p.s use it than kids will. Stupid idea find the kids somewhere else

Reply Posted by anon on Friday June 28 2013 at 13:23
What I find hard to understand is - no -one has given a thought to all the young people from Worsboro, Wombwell & Darfield who have been kicked out of their buildings! These are the next generation and should be invested in but as usual no -one cares about them because they do not vote!


Reply Posted by Old Dancer on Wednesday June 26 2013 at 14:48
Once again no respect for those that have served their country well in times of peace and WAR only to be pushed aside by society which enjoys the freedom that we helped create. Youth Clubs - bloody joke, we had no youth clubs, we entertained ourselves and built our own values and strengths based upon the outdoor activities that we created. What the hell are these xbox, ps3 button pushing kids going to bring to society - glad I won't see the future these are going to create.

Reply Posted by anon on Wednesday June 26 2013 at 17:32
Not really the kids fault is it? But it's great to see the maturity of the 'older generation' coming through.

Reply Posted by Grim on Sunday June 30 2013 at 20:33
How old are you Anon. You sound like a typical spoilt teenager who has no understanding as to the importance of such venues for the elderly. Lets face it kids can meet up anywhere and they deserve it. Whilst most youngsters are not.

Reply Posted by ged on Wednesday June 26 2013 at 15:14
2hrs oncea week .? Notalot to askforand what an oppertunity, let itbe a youthhub, thesedancers areobviouslyyoung at heart, you never know someof the youth may welcme a chanceto join in and we mayget better young/ old understanding.surelyacompramise is possible

Reply Posted by Kate on Wednesday June 26 2013 at 15:47
This is unfortunate and another victim of the spending cuts. The cuts have hit a number of services hard in recent months, with a lot of youth centres being earmarked for closure. The Youth Hubs aren't just youth clubs, but will also be used by other services to work with young people in a local community setting, delivering key interventions and services. So it's not all about providing PS3's and pool tables for kids, but about ensuring that other services that have also been affected by cuts will have places to deliver services to young people that need it. It is unfortunate that the dance group have been affected, but there seems to be little alternative out there at the moment when it comes to venues for community services to use. I agree with one of the comments above, surely there is a local pub or business with a function room that could allow this to be used for the dance group? It's a shame that any member of the community will have to suffer due to these recent changes.

Reply Posted by Robbo on Wednesday June 26 2013 at 18:30
And surely there is a local pub or club that would welcome the extra revenue from the Council to provide a Youth Hub at their premises. as a past youth worker, in my experience the best place to reach young people is on the streets. Perhaps these 'other services' could employ staff that are motivated enough to meet young people in their own recreational area, the streets, rather than turf out a long standing social event for the older generation

Reply Posted by biscuit on Friday June 28 2013 at 08:29
Why cant they split it so its get the best of both worlds?surley its not going to hurt the kids if its shut for a couple of day out of the week for the oap's,honeslty hiw hard is it to sort somthing out n actualy use a brain cell sometimes i dont know how these people get jobs.

Reply Posted by Mick Clay on Friday June 28 2013 at 08:33
Like people have said surely there is a pub/club that can accomodate them. But I think the youth hub is a great idea, if they didnt create something like this the same people moaning on here now would be moaning that kids where wandering the streets with nothing to do causing trouble. Cant have everything and cant please everyone.

Reply Posted by LV on Friday June 28 2013 at 08:39
The dance club uses it one day in a week!! Why can they not accommodate that one night for them??? Do they not realise that losing this social opportunity will be detrimental to their health?? It's atrocious!!

Reply Posted by Muso on Sunday June 30 2013 at 19:35
If Mr Steer contacts Ellen at Wombwell Working Mens Club on Station Rd next week, i am sure they have a spare night on a thursday and also have their own older persons club on a wednesday afternoon.

Reply Posted by mel on Sunday June 30 2013 at 19:44
cant they open for both have the dancers one night and youth club another?