MORE than 40 children have signed up to be part of the new Witham Hangout as it opened its doors for the first time.

The brand new youth club, which is based at Parkside, in Maldon Road, was set up in a bid to keep youngsters out of trouble following a spate of anti-social behaviour incidents earlier this year.

Several months of planning for the volunteers came to a close with the opening of the centre last week.

Spokesman Kelly Parr, the chair of the committee behind the club, said it was brilliant to see so many youngsters at go along to the opening night.

She said: “It’s was a really amazing evening – it was great to see the smiles on the faces of the children and to hear all of the laughter.

“This is something which we want to benefit the whole community, not just the children, and I think it’s something we can all be proud of.

“They way we’ve all come together and put in the effort to make this work has shown me that Witham is actually a lovely place.”

Witham Town FC superfan James Beardwell was among several guests invited along to the ceremony and was also given the honour of cutting the ribbon.

There was also a special moment when the Volunteers were also presented with a cheque for £1,500 from the Essex Charity Commission to use for the youth club.

Mrs Parr said: “As yet we’re not too sure exactly what the money will be spent on but we want the children to be able to come to the club and do what they want to do so they’ll have a big say.

“But we share the centre with other clubs so it’ll be nice to be able to have our own things which we can lock away and say “that’s ours”.

“We’ve had some parents coming to us and asking if we still have room for more children and we certainly do.”

More details on the club are available via its Facebook page. To volunteer email