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Happy 10th Anniversary

(5 October 2008)

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This last week the Cookham Youth Project celebrated its 10th Anniversary. On Monday 29 September the young people had a celebration party and on Friday 3rd October there was a party for the donors and all those who had helped over the last ten years. 

For the young people's party there was jelly made by Committee member John Mellor, pizzas and sausages made by Kathy Rickman and a cake made by Waitrose.


Both parties were held at Cookham Dean Cricket Club, the party on the Friday was attended by those who had been involved with the Youth Project over the last ten years with people who had either helped or donated and in several cases done both. On eof the main differences between the two parties was that the adult one had the bar open!

Paul Taylor barman, youth worker and ex Youth Club member

Youth Worker and Barmaid Tasha André

Liz Kwantes, Chairman of the Management Committee gave a short reminiscing talk on the achievements of the Youth Project. The idea had emerged during Cookham Summer FM when young people complained that there was nothing to do in Cookham. Kathy Rickman and Liz Kwantes got together and the first Youth Club took place in April 1998 with Laura Pearce as Youth Leader.

First Youth Leader Laura Pearce Cuts the Cake

Liz went on to talk about the visit to France in 2001 where Cookham's twin village challenged the Youth Club to canoeing, archery and absailing. Although Cookham's young people had never done any of these things so some hasty practise taught everyone how to hold a bow and how not to capsize. However the French won hands down. The absailing was from a three hundred foot bridge and the fear and achievement of actually doing htis is still talked about by those who went to France. In 2002 the French teenagers came to Cookham and did rather well at five a side football and hand ball.  

Alan Jay from Rotary one of the donors to the Youth Project

In 2001 Steve Taylor, the Youth Leader, was voted Young Volunteer of the Year, and in 2003 had an invitation to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace from the Lord High Sheriff of Berkshire.  Also in 2003 the Christmas card designed by one of the members of the Youth Club was chosen as the Christmas card to be used by the Royal Borough. Then in 2005 the Telegraph came to visit the Youth Club and it was included in an article about Youth activities in UK with the photos all being of the Cookham club.

Youth Leader Steve Taylor

In 2005 Bob McLachlan who works for British Airways at Heathrow organised a Flying Day at White Waltham airport where ten lucky young people actually went up in two seater aricraft. Bob had brought his laptop along with photos of the day. In addition the Youth Club has had Karaoke, quizzes, cooking, cinema, swimming at Coral Reef, kayaking at Hurley, bowling, glass decorating, circus skills, junior combat, street dance and many other activities and also took part in Cookham Summer FM in 2006 which was an hilariously funny if not rather chaotic programme.

Bob McLachlan with two PCSOs

The Flying Day

In 2007 the Youth Project went camping near Amersham and enjoyed it so much went to Henley in the summer of 2008 although both times the weather was rather wet.

The evening was a good opportunity for everyone to put forward suggestions of new ideas for the Youth Project over a glass of two of wine. If you want to know more about the Cookham Youth Project click here for their website 

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