Dronfield’s relationship with buses is almost entirely like my relationship with hot-dogs. Every now-and-then I fancy a hot-dog, but before long it becomes a time-consuming, hate-filled task which leaves me unsatisfied, underwhelmed and unimpressed (which co-incidentally alludes perfectly to my sex-life). But there is one bus, or rather, there was a bus. A bus that turned up on time; A bus without a number; A bus which subtly plugs the Christian faith while handing out steaming hot Coco.
Roughly 5 years ago, maybe more(?), Churches Together in Dronfield and District decided to actually acknowledge there isn’t a whole lot for the youths of Dronfield to do, apart from drink cider, steal For Sale signs and smoke cigarettes (still three of my core hobbies). They decided to bring a bus down to the Civic Centre – later Sainsbury’s car park – and provide the youn’s somewhere to rest their legs in between hitting each other, cursing and texting their mates girlfriend because she gave them eyes in English earlier.
After scrapping the bus almost a year and a half ago, they now operate a pop-up youth centre in the Baptist Church, across from Sainsbury’s and down from the Vic. It takes places on a Friday night between the hours of 8PM to 10PM with upwards of 80 kids frequenting. It’s popularity even brings in youths from as far out as Sheffield.
They have pool, table football, free tea, coffee, cake and snacks. All of which are all provided by the volunteers who run the night (I assume), which the Town council should be ashamed about, considering they have nearly half a million pounds in the town bank account. I find it truly incredible the Town council are so inept at providing even basic activities for the youth of Dronfield but speak with such conviction when they find cider bottles and signs littered across the Civic Centre car-park. Wow, things need a shake-up.
Despite being based in a Church, run by Christian volunteers, the group by no means want to force faith upon you. Although they are open about their faith, it is not a place for them to do a ‘God’ bit or get preachy. If the kids ask, they tell them what they believe but first and foremost it is just a place for kids to stay out of the cold (and trouble), and eat flapjack.
They told us, “It’s just a need we think the town needs and we aim to meet it in a small way”. Which is a sentiment the whole town should get behind, especially the Town Council who, are too focused on keeping the Bowls Club on side rather than providing opportunities for the young people of Dronfield. Again, things need a shake-up.
If anyone has any suggestions for youth-based activities in Dronfield, please contact us.