Burnley Boys and Girls Club is coming to Whalley

Burnley Boys and Girls Club has truly cemented itself as a pillar of the community, and during the pandemic the centre has been a lifeline for young people who need an escape and a safe place to go.  

The success of the club in Burnley hasn’t gone unnoticed and a second centre is now opening in the grounds of Whalley Abbey from the 12th April.  

During the past year with people spending more time at home relationships have been tested, and young people are often finding an escape meeting up with their friends outside.  

This has caused angst and worry for residents leading to the local police getting involved. Burnley Boys and Girls Club understand and respect young people and that is at the heart of finding a solution.  

The Hub in The Abbey will be a space for young people to get out of the rain and off the street. A place to have a brew, a chat with your friends, and a place to talk to someone who will not judge. The 13th century Gatehouse at the Abbey has a long and illustrious history of helping the community, used in the past for giving shelter and a place of safety for the wider community, and was even previously used as a youth club in the 80’s. 

The youth club will cater for ages 8 to 18 and operate 7 days a week from 6pm.  

Burnley Boys and girls club have worked alongside Whalley Abbey and Ribble Valley Council on this new venture to provide the community with a safe space to engage with the young people of the Ribble Valley. The Hub will be at the heart of the young people.  

Centre manager Graham Vernon said: “As in every village and town especially one where there are lots of new family home developments, the young people aren't always aware of all the organisations that have services, or they just meet up with their friends outside. Not only has this caused frustration within the Community but also leads to an ever-decreasing circle of issues without there seemingly being a solution. 

"The Diocese of Blackburn with their vision for the Abbey as a place of safety and sacred history celebrates 100 years in 2026 and has been the heart of the community of Whalley and surrounding villages and towns for 800 years. 

"Working together with the Diocese, supported by Ribble Valley Police and other community organisations I am positive that we can not only bring the Community a little closer but build on these new partnerships for years and generations to come. Who knows maybe in 800 years when young people learn about Covid 2020 they also celebrate the strength our Community found to support each and every member.” 

The club is fundraising for the renovation and upkeep of The Hub and is also appealing for local tradespeople to get involved in the transformation of creating the space. 

For information on fundraising please visit the Whalley Youth Facebook group and to get involved with The Hub please contact Centre Manager Graham Vernon.