Vilan’s fritidsgård (recreational centre) closed in April due to stone throwing and the staff feeling threatened. On Wednesday, the recreational centre opened again. It was eagerly awaited.
“I’ve really missed it,” says one of the two 15-year-olds who did not want their names to be mentioned in the newspaper.
– Since we stopped hanging out here, we have been drawn to other places that are not as popular. There things have happened and the police usually show up. You are drawn to the places where most people hang, it’s just how it is. It is better that this is open here, most definitely, he says.
Among the 25 children who are at the recreational centre on this first evening, most are aged between 11 to 13 years old. It is filled with activity with pool tables, air hockey and computer games, but also a cafeteria and talk with the recreational leaders.
Every child that Kristianstadsbladet speaks with says it’s great fun to be back.
The recreational centre closed because the situation became threatening for the staff in and around the recreational centre.
Carola Ivarsson, the recreational centre’s manager, says it was a gang that was behind it.
– It was a group of around 17-18 young people, but I cannot say that each of them were involved and did things as some of them just hung out passively.
During autumn there were group activities, the gym has been completely built.
– During spring we will be open three days a week and have the same staff working to ensure continuity. We will work to try and get our young people interested in things, it is important to have an interest.
A new change is also that the recreational centre is now open to young people from the ages of 10 to 16 years and not up to18 years as it was before.