Welcome to Bowburn DJ Evans Youth 
Registered Charity Number: 520751

Job Vacancies


We are constantly recruiting for reliable and enthusiastic volunteers for our youth sessions and community GYM. please email bowburnyouthie@yahoo.co.uk for further information.

Management Committee 

We are looking for a committed individuals to join our management committee, taking an active role in the development of our centre. 

For over 50 years now, we have been offering a safe and secure environment for young people to interact and engage in structured activities from which they can learn and develop skills across many disciplines.
Photo: Mike Syer

The centre would not be successful without the dedicated staff and volunteers who run youth work sessions, community gym and management committee.

We are also extremely grateful to those organisations and individuals who have granted us their time and services and donated funds over the years, thank you. 

The next few years will be a challenging time for the centre but we are determined not to lose this valuable resource for the young people of Bowburn.

Can you help?

If you can help with your time, services or you would like to make a donation to the Bowburn Youth Centre charity, please contact us today!

Our History

Bowburn Boys' Club was founded in 1935 by "Taff" Evans, headteacher of Bowburn School.  It mainly used the old Miners' Institute, opposite where the later Welfare Hall, where Bowburn Community Centre, now stands.  But it also used, at different times, Crowtrees WM Club, the room above Mrs. Storey's shop in Durham Road West and Bowburn School.  However, the old Welfare was demolished after the new one was built in 1961.  So plans were made to build a purpose built youth club.

The new DJ Evans Youth Club, named after the Boys' Club founder, was opened by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, President of the National Association of Boys Clubs, on 25th October 1963.  It became a registered charity in 1964.

Though always officially a "youth club", with registered charitable aims to cater for both boys and girls in the village and surrounding area, it was always known locally as "the boys' club", or even just "the boysie".  Its leader since 1936, Jim Griffiths, only retired in 1967.

The building was funded originally by local subscription and with the help of the National Association of Boys Clubs (now renamed the National Association of Clubs for Young People) and the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO).  CISWO was then part of the NCB but is now an independent charity and is still our landlord.

We are still affiliated to the National Association of Clubs for Young People, whose local representative, Simon Healey, took over from John Ward as our youth leader in 1984 and served us till about 1990.

An extension was built in 1982, with a new games room next to the road and the entrance put round at the side. Access to this became easier in 1998, when a new footpath was constructed past the new entrance, linking Burn Street and Bowburn Library.

The club was forced to close in 1992 but it re-opened about three months later, with a new committee, two of whose members (Mary Bell and Sue Heron) are still closely linked with the club today, 28 years later.

In 2003, with Beverley Philips as principal youth worker, the youth centre became the base for a wider area, including Coxhoe. It was re-named unofficially as “Bowburn Youth Project” although its charitable name remains the same, still named after “Taff” Evans. Joanne Eden has been our principal Youth Worker since 2005.

The premises are the responsibility of the local management committee. In about 2004, we started to plan a major refurbishment, after it was announced that a regeneration project in the village would release several million pounds for community buildings and projects. In due course it became clear that those plans could not be successful and the management committee, assisted by Joanne Eden and young members of the youth club, decided to plan a phased improvement to the building, instead.

Over the last ten years or so, we have created the IT room (from part of the old games room), replaced external doors and several windows, created and then completely overhauled the gym / weights room, carpeted floors, fitted a new kitchen and redecorated throughout at least twice. Funding for this came from various sources, including a number of grants from Durham County Council and significant fund-raising by young club members.

In 2009 we were delighted to receive grants from the governors of Sherburn Hospital and from the Big Lottery Fund, to enable us at last to make the whole building completely accessible. We now have ramps to all external doors, a fully accessible toilet, and all doorways wide enough for wheelchair access

In 2014 - the old gym had a whole new refurb with all new exercise equipment, this was done in partnership with wellness on wheels who identified the need for this resource in Bowburn. The community gym is open to members of the community

In 2015 both the male and female toilets have had a whole new refurb.

Due to cuts in funding from the County Council, Bowburn Parish Council have committed funds to pay for qualified Youth Workers ensuring Youth Provision continues in Bowburn for the foreseeable future.

Bowburn youth project is a centre based purpose built youth Centre, which provides provision for young people age 10 - 25 years. Over a 200 young people have accessed the provision in the last year. The young people are given the opportunity to participate in projects and activities that they choose to do. The last year has seen projects around raising self esteem and confidence, sexual health, drug and alcohol awareness, health & fitness, cooking and life skills, CVs, interview skills, fundraising, planning events, environment, sport and fitness, gardening, Young Mums session and a Boxing Club.

As well as the Centre based activities on offer the young people also have the opportunity to go on residential's , area events, holiday provision is provided as well as Community events.