Archway: Campaign battle to save Leeds centre

Former Big Brother contestant Science at Archway in March 2010.

Former Big Brother contestant Science at Archway in March 2010.

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YOUNG users of a Leeds resource centre have launched a campaign to save it.

For 12 years, Archway, in Roundhay Road, has given hope, support and advice to thousands of young people aged between 16 and 25 from the most disadvantaged parts of the city.

Its services include sporting and arts activities, a creche, housing support, laundry, help with benefits, homelessness, employment, education and training, and also English language classes.

It is run by regeneration charity re’new.

It faces a 40 per cent cut in funding.

Ten young people who have benefited from the centre have launched a campaign against the cuts which they have named “Tenacity”.

They plan to lobby councillors and council officers, launch a Facebook campaign, write daily blogs and create a petition on the 10 Downing Street website.

Tenacity co-founder Joanna James, 24, from Harehills, said: “I’ve been coming to Archway for seven years now. It has been a great help. The staff have given me continual support, confidence and help over this time. I can’t bear to think its future is under threat.

“We want people to know just how important Archway is to young people from all over the city.

“All the services are under one roof and we are treated as individuals. You don’t find this level of help and support elsewhere.”

Another co-founder, Simone Massey, 23, said: “I became a member of Archway in 2003, but little did I know at the time that Archway would have such an impact on my life.

“I couldn’t possibly imagine Archway not being here, because that would mean imagining what direction my life might have taken without their help.”

Simone, who has been helping out in the English for Speakers Of Other Languages (ESOL) group, said: “I’ve been given great insight into the lives and backgrounds of the learners and the struggles they’ve had to face in their journeys.

“Their inspirational stories have taught me a lot about their life.”

peter.lazenby@ypn.co.uk

Marc Silkstone.

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