Delight in Elphin at provision of new Youth Café

A Youth Café was unveiled in the town of Elphin recently with the hope of providing much-needed facilities for the teenagers within the area. It is located on Main Street and has been open at the weekends for the last number of weeks.   The need for such a facility became apparent after surveys were conducted which revealed that the public felt such a service was required in the town.   Cllr. Valerie Byrne spoke to the Roscommon People: ‘There were surveys carried out on a county basis which made known that the people of Elphin were in favour of a project to cater for the youth.    ‘Another more in-depth survey was then carried out in the town itself. Everybody had an input, including the secondary school pupils and as a result it was decided that a youth café would be most beneficial to the town’, commented Cllr Byrne, who was one of many people involved in the project.   ‘It evolved almost 18 months ago and was backed by the Roscommon Partnership Company based in Roscommon town. There was immense work carried out on a voluntary basis from the people of Elphin who should be highly recommended for their efforts and commitment to the youth café. Some of the equipment in the cafe was donated locally while some of it was purchased brand new’, added Valerie, who complemented all those who were involved in the project.   Among the facilities which now exist in the café are a pool table, television and state-of-the-art laptops. In a general sense it is hoped it will be viewed by the younger members of the community as a safe environment to relax and unwind in.   It is also hoped that the centre will be opened during lunch hours for the benefit of the schoolchildren in the town.   ‘Our plans are to open the café during lunch-time, starting in September. We would welcome all students who wish to have their lunch in peace while availing of the facilities there too although we will not be competing with the shops and businesses around the town at lunchtime’ added Cllr. Byrne.    The committee are currently renting the property in which the café is located but hopes are high that future funding may ease any financial uncertainties which may surround the project.   ‘The Partnership organisation are providing the funding in order to rent the property until the end of the year. We would be hopeful that the Government, who have recently expressed their desire to help and support the running of such youth amenity centres nationwide, will assist us in the future’, concluded Valerie.   Currently the Elphin Youth Café is open on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 pm to 10 pm. Hopefully all the time and effort that has gone into this project will be justified by the numbers of the town’s younger members of the public who call into this welcome new facility.