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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Former Carlisle boys' club may become home for troubled teens

Plans to turn a former boys’ club into a home for troubled teenagers have been revealed.

Currock Villa photo
Currock Villa

Hopscotch Care wants to convert Currock Villa in Currock, Carlisle, into a residential children’s home for up to five young people aged 11 to 17.

The three-storey Currock Road building was once home to a boys’ club but has deteriorated in recent years. The Carlisle Villa boxing club is based at the back of the building.

Applicant Hopscotch Care said it wants to establish a home in Cumbria as there are six or seven residents living at its other home in Carnforth, Lancashire, and all of them apart from one come from the county originally.

Richard Witts, company director, told the News & Star: “We are keen to ensure our young people are placed as close to their home towns as possible.

“Some young people are travelling from Carnforth to Carlisle, Penrith and Workington.”

The building is owned by Young Cumbria and Mr Witts said Hopscotch Care would rent it if the plans are approved.

“It has been vacant for three years and there have been attempts to sell it but it has deteriorated into a poor condition and hasn’t been able to sell,” he added.

The company works with young people from various backgrounds including foster care or parents who can no longer look after them.

Some may have had traumatic experiences and have been in placements before but the majority come from disfunctional families which have led to the young people having to deal with difficult experiences, Mr Witt explained.

He also said the firm plans to employ 13 or 14 members of staff.

“We have a high staff to resident ratio and we work with them to get them in a position to live independently and gain employment or training,” Mr Witt said.

He also revealed that the costs for the project have not yet been drawn up but expects it to be “close to six figures”.

The scheme is due to go out to public consultation before being considered by Carlisle City Council planners. Plans were lodged with the city council this week.

Have your say

Its a great idea, its not in my back yard so I'm all for it.

But seriously you have to give the lads a chance hopefully all they need is to get out of the environment they are in and will surely get help and assistance on all levels to make them better citizens.

Posted by Geordie on 27 December 2014 at 19:22

I think its a brilliant idea I have lived with the staff at hopscotch care and when I first went I was in alot of trouble after 4-5 month of living with them I was in college and then I got a job I have lived in alot of children's homes and my opinion is that the people who work with u at hopscotch actually care and have your best interests at heart couldn't think of anything bad to say about them

Posted by with held on 27 December 2014 at 17:28

View all 18 comments on this article

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