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For over 50 years, the Petworth Youth Association (PYA) and the Sylvia Beaufoy Centre (SBC) has provided a unique service to the young people of Petworth and the surrounding villages in rural West Sussex. Through the Sylvia Beaufoy Centre we offer a safe meeting place and a base for youth work in the area. We aim to give opportunities to all young people – regardless of their economic background – to gain informal learning qualifications and skills for living.
Our youth workers bring information, support and guidance through a mix of drop-in sessions and targeted projects. Reflecting recently on our Greenpower Electric Car project, the lead youth worker commented: I’ve been very encouraged to see how working with young people on a very practical “hands-on” task of designing, building and racing an electric car can foster a quality of trust and relationship that allows me to support them around deep, personal issues such as family bereavement, anxiety and mental health.
At the SBC, we are very proud of the talented young people in our area. They constantly amaze us with the skills, creativity and resilience they bring to overcoming the challenges and difficulties they face living in a rural area. We are equally proud of the many highly gifted youth workers and volunteers who have been part of the work of the Centre over many years.
“Thank you so much. You all work so hard. Petworth is so lucky to have the Beaufoy and Mrs Beaufoy would have been very proud of you all”
The Petworth Youth Assocation and the Sylvia Beaufoy Centre are the legacy of Sylvia Beaufoy, a resident of Petworth. She formed the PYA as a charitable trust in the 1960’s to provide a much-needed facility in a rural area where young people could meet. Sylvia Beaufoy also worked for many years during her life to provide enriching activities for young people and to help them overcome difficulties and reach their full potential.
After over half a century, lots of changes, and many hundreds of young people, the Sylvia Beaufoy Centre is still going strong! We are still benefitting from the great gift of Sylvia’s life, her legacy, and everything she has given for the enjoyment and well-being of the young people of Petworth and surrounding villages.
“As someone who knew and remembers Mrs Beaufoy and her vision and dedication, it is wonderful to see the continuing hard work and success achieved in pursuing her dream. All the very best to everyone involved”
Petworth Youth Association & The Sylvia Beaufoy Centre
Petworth and its surrounding rural villages have little provision for leisure activities for young people. The lack of transport brings further difficulties in accessing work once young people leave school. The area has a higher than usual level of low qualifications, with well documented difficulties in accessing housing and services.
The Petworth Youth Association (and SBC) is governed by a Trust Deed dated May 7th 1962. A voluntary management committee manages the Sylvia Beaufoy Centre and staff, and makes sure the SBC fulfils the aims set out in its constitution.
The Mission of the SBC, as defined by the original PYA Trust Deed, is :
To establish a lasting relationship with young people in Petworth and the surrounding area. To work with them through leisure activities enabling them to grow and mature physically, mentally and spiritually, both as individuals and members of society.
“Thanks to all the youth workers who have helped me become the person I am now. So many memories that I will never forget. I couldn’t have done it without you. PS The cake was good 😊”