Young members of Bruce Grove Youth Centre say they do not trust Haringey Council, and are “desperate” to keep their centre open.

In a meeting on Wednesday night, Gill Gibson, Haringey Council’s assistant director of children’s services, said there were “no plans” to close the centre.

But Jodie Pollen, 15, said she felt the council was being unclear and making contradictory statements.

She said: “The council just completely contradicts itself. In the corporate document it says clearly that not many people use the youth centre. Then they came to us today and told us they know lots of people use the youth centre. But the councillor didn’t even know what the corporate booklet said.

“I don’t believe them when they say they’re not going to shut the youth centre.  If they take all the money away, how can it stay open?”

Aaliyah Carton-Frederick, 15, was not confident the centre would not close.

She said: “I don’t think the council is listening to us. Last Wednesday they said for the first time that there were no plans to shut the centre. But why does it say the council will ‘shift away’ from providing the youth centre on their website if there is no plan to close it?”

She added: “People really need the centre. Some people don’t have a nice time at home, and the centre is an escape where they can learn new activities and be helped by the youth workers.

 “It is really a place where we can mix with lots of different people, from different schools, and have fun in a safe place.”

Ms Carton-Frederick’s younger sister, 12-year-old Clarise Carton, said that if young people did not have the youth centre, they would end up on the streets.

She said:  “Young people, including me, need somewhere safe to socialise and have fun together. If the council cut the funding for Bruce Grove Youth Centre we won’t have a safe and dedicated place to meet.

“Some people are marginalised because of their age or ethnicity or because they’re disabled and the youth centre can give them a chance to feel integrated and welcome in our community.”

Ms Carton also said the support of the youth workers was “extremely valuable”. She said: “The youth workers are approachable, kind and understanding.

“They support us when we feel depressed or upset and help us reflect. They provide us with solutions at a time when mental health services for young people are not good enough.

“Youth workers give us a lot of advice on how to be healthy, and in a manner that we like. They don’t lecture us, they give us sensible solutions and help us make choice and stay safe.

“We’re desperate for the youth centres to continue their work."

Councillor Ann Waters, cabinet member for children and families, said: “As we have said repeatedly and most recently at the centre on Thursday evening, there are no plans to close Bruce Grove.

“I have met with many young people recently to discuss ways in which the council can continue to ensure there is good youth provision in Haringey, within the constraints of a reducing budget.  

“These conversations have been extremely positive and we look forward to continuing to work with young people in future to help us design future youth services in Haringey that will best meet their needs.”