Soaring success of Chellaston youth club set up by parents disappointed their children had nowhere to go
KEITH and Debbie Brampton were so frustrated their children had no youth club to go they set up their own.
And in only two-and-a-half years, youngsters have made an amazing total of 7,500 visits to the premises.
Now daughter Siobhan, 14, who was one of the first to visit the Chellaston club, is a volunteer helping to run it.
About 80 children are regulars at the Friday night club at Chellaston Community Centre in Barley Croft.
For Keith and Debbie, the youth club is a passion – and they dedicate all their free time to it. They want to help keep the youngsters off the streets and give them somewhere to go.
Siobhan, a Chellaston Academy pupil, said: "I love going to the youth club and without it I'd just be at home watching television.
"My mum and dad came up with the idea because there was nothing like this in Chellaston for us to go or anything to do."
Keith, 50, said: "We just opened it to nine, ten and 11-year-olds to start with, but extended it as we grew and grew."
For Keith and Debbie, the youth club is a passion – as well as being a lot of fun – and that is clear to see.
Keith works full-time as part of the major incident team for Derbyshire police but still dedicates every spare minute to the club.
The 49-year-old used to work as a manager at the Salvation Army in a rehab centre.
He said: "It really puts everything into perspective and I wanted to work with youngsters to catch them early and show them the right way.
"Having the youth club here gives all the young people in the area – and beyond – somewhere to come, just for a couple of hours each week, to let off some steam, somewhere safe.
"They're not on the street, hanging around at bus stops or outside shops causing trouble because they're bored.
"If we can save a couple of youngsters that might be tempted to go down the wrong path, then all the hard work will have paid off."
All the equipment – a pool table, table tennis, badminton nets – has been donated by well-wishers.
Keith said: "We have music systems and a smoke machine and all the kids just get on and have a great time.
"There's never any problems with behaviour. Everyone is here to have fun."
Far from just spending their time playing pool and painting their nails, the youngsters take part in regular litter picks, help members of the community, plant flowers and fund-raise to better the community.
Paige Kilner, 13, brings along all her nail varnish and nail-art equipment to decorate everyone's nails.
She said: "I love that youth club is on a Friday night when everyone's been at school all week and needs to chill out.
"A lot of my friends from school come but there's a lot of people I wouldn't know if it wasn't for youth club.
"I love doing my own nails. I always have some bright colour on them so I wanted to share it with everyone."
Ten-year-old Jack Spencer lives in Duffield but travels every Friday night to come to youth club.
He said: "I used to live in Chellaston and go to Chellaston Juniors but we moved to Duffield.
"I go to Duffield Meadows Primary School now but I love coming back each week as I can see my friends.
"I love playing pool with everyone and just have fun, rather than being stuck at home."
In the next year, the club wants to raise enough money – about £2,000 – to buy a defibrillator for the community.
Keith said: "Hopefully it'll never be used, but it will be there to save lives if we need it.
"It'll be kept in a locked cabinet, locked by a code which is given by the emergency services when someone calls.
"It talks the user through everything step-by-step.
"That's the next challenge we are all taking on."