A COMMUNITY has rallied together to create a youth group in light of a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

Springfield Youth Group was set up to give young people a safe place to socialise.

The group has been National Lottery funded and caters for youngsters aged between 11 to 17 years old.

Rose Moore, 45, a spokesman for the group, said it has been set up as a non-profit organisation.

She added: “We’re a community-led group of residents and parents, determined to make a positive change after reports of antisocial behaviour and crime involving ‘young people’ in Springfield earlier this year.

“Young people want to meet up in a safe space, rather than have to go to each other’s houses or congregate outside in places where they’re often instantly presumed to be troublemakers.

“We spoke with students at The Boswells School earlier this year to see what could be done to help.

“Some were close to tears as they expressed their frustration that all teens are seen, by some residents, to be ‘up to no good’ thanks to the actions of a very few.

“Our biggest challenge is long- term funding.

“The wheels turn very slowly for larger grants and awards, and competition is fierce.

“Rental costs, even when subsidised, are high and we’re relying on grants and donations to keep our group running.”

The youth group meets at The Daffodil Room, Springfield Parish Centre, St Augustine’s Way, Springfield every Friday from 7.15pm until 10pm, including school term time and school holidays.

Membership is free and charges are £1 per session per child.