06 March 2015
The Youth Service’s outdoor activity base in the heart of the St Mary countryside officially reopens this weekend. Jersey’s young people will soon be able to use the new building at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Activity Base at Crabbé and there is an open day for members of the public on Saturday (7 March 2015) and Sunday (8 March 2015).
The formal opening is by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John McColl, on Saturday morning. The new building, which has been completely remodelled, will then be open to the public from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday and 2pm to 5pm on Sunday.
The collection of old cabins and classroom block have been replaced with one a single-storey chalet-style building. The grounds have been landscaped and turf from Springfield stadium has been recycled on parts of the site.
The Crabbé centre was opened in 1981 and was popular with youth groups and schools for more than 30 years. It was in almost constant use for day activities and short residential visits and was attracting 6,500 visits by young people by the time it closed for the £926,000 rebuild at the end of 2013.
The new building meets the standards for child protection and health and safety. It is also more energy efficient and will now be available for more use year-round.
Principal Youth Officer Mark Capern said “Outdoor education is very important in building confidence and self-esteem and gives an extra dimension to learning that complements what young people experience in school. This excellent building means we have the right facilities to carry on offering valuable experiences to our young people and give them a chance to be outside in Jersey’s natural environment.”
The new timber clad building provides a purpose built facility that can accommodate 30 young people and six staff and includes a new classroom, social area and kitchen as well as improved access for disabled users. The new layout also vastly improves the educational facilities of the site to allow the opportunity for greater learning to take place.
The development was commissioned by Jersey Property Holdings, who ensured that environmental standards are maximised, while the inherent character of the venue is still very much retained.
ESC Minister Deputy Rod Bryans said “Crabbe has been such a fantastic resource for the Island for the past 30 years and so many Jersey people have had great experiences and great memories of spending time there. It is an important facility, not only for the Youth Service but also schools and a wide range of other youth groups.”
Deputy Eddie Noel, the Assistant Minister at Treasury and Resources with responsibility for property, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support the Youth Service in bringing this building to fruition. It’s an exciting project that opens up opportunities for people who might not otherwise have easy access to this kind of facility in the Jersey countryside.”