A DETERMINED team of parents are setting up a brand new youth club in a bid to improve how youngsters are perceived and keep them out of trouble.

Seven parents have been busy putting together the Witham Hangout, to be based at Parkside Youth Centre, in a bid to show that not all teenagers are out to cause trouble.

Final preparations are underway and the group is hoping to open at the Maldon Road centre by the time the schools go back next month.

But before that, a taster session will be held from 7pm on Wednesday, August 8, for parents and youngsters to look around and speak to staff.

Kate Booker, a mother-of-three involved in the set-up, said the group are aiming to give teenagers somewhere to spend their spare time.

Mrs Booker explained: "You see all sorts of talk on Facebook groups about kids hanging around on street corners on their bikes or outside shops.

"There's this association between kids hanging about bad behaviour but the reality is for most of them is that they don't have anywhere to go.

"We were getting quite fed-up with people having a go at kids who were just hanging around with nothing to do.

"There's always going to be the odd bad egg, and there has been trouble, but not all of the kids in Witham are like that."

It is aimed at children aged 11 to 17 and initial joining cost of £5 will be required and each visit thereafter will cost another £1.

Mrs Booker, who lives off Hatfield Road, Witham, said the activities on offer at the centre will range from basketball to cooking classes.

She said: "It'll be based on the what they want to do - a lot of things which are on offer at the moment are too structured for the kids and a lot of them don't want that.

"Ultimately, we want this to be the start of something really positive for the kids and the community."

Full details regarding the official opening of the club are available on their Facebook page.

To volunteer, email withamhangout@hotmail.com.