A YOUTH project founded in the wake of a young footballer’s death has been going from strength to strength.
The Matrix project, set up by local churches, is Mirfield’s only youth drop-in centre.
It was first opened after the death of 22-year-old Ross Wood, who captained Mirfield Town FC.
Hardworking Ross died in November, 2007, after he was hit in the face by a youth in a motiveless attack, following a night out celebrating a friend’sbirthday.
The Matrix project, based at Trinity Methodist Church in Huddersfield Road, was formed to give the town’s young people a safe place to go every Wednesday evening.
Now the project, set up and funded by Churches Together Mirfield, and Mirfield Educational Trust, has a paid manager and 12 volunteers.
The church foyer, where the project is run, is often at capacity on a Wednesday with about 30 young people attending on average.
So the church, which offers refreshments and company for youngsters aged 12 to 20, is now to open on Tuesday evenings too, from 7pm-9pm, from next month.
The project also runs a youth cookery project every Thursday from 4.30pm – 5.30pm at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Old Bank Road, for the young people of London Park and Lockwood Avenue estates.
Linda Musgreave was appointed the project’s manager in August.
She said: “It’s a place for young people in the centre of Mirfield where they can have a (soft) drink and there are volunteers to talk to or they can listen to music.
“The whole point of the project is to work with young people in Mirfield who are on the edge and at the edge of exclusion.’’
Plans for a skate park are also in the pipeline. Funding to keep the project running a further three years is currently being secured.
Ms Musgreave said: “One of the things we have started is the cookery project for London Park estate. It’s about creating some community cohesion.
“There are no other youth centres in Mirfield.
“It’s definitely been a fair success over the past few months because, if nothing else, it’s giving people somewhere to go and they are in a safe place.
“For the skate park we’re trying to get people on board who are committed to working for us.
“If we can secure the funding there’s no reason why the project can’t continue for several more years.”
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