Crossover is a Youth Drop-in Centre and charity that was set up in May 2006 by local Liss residents working with the local Churches and the Parish Council. This brilliant team of people, headed by Michael Oakley, had noticed that there were lots of young people hanging around outside of the local Tesco with very little to do and so they set out to make a change for the better. The kids were causing a bit of a problem (gangs of young people can be quite scary to little old ladies) and Youth Crime was at an all time high.
With drive, determination and lots of fundraising and hard work, Crossover Liss Youth Drop In Centre was finally opened in May 2006. At first it only opened for a couple of sessions a week – for three hours on a Tuesday and a Thursday with young people of all ages being allowed in at the same time. There was a Manager, but the sessions were mainly run for free by willing and lovely volunteers – who just wanted the young people to have somewhere to hang out safely – where they weren’t bothering anyone else. It was important to these people that the Young People of Liss had somewhere to call their own.
Crossover is now open on a Monday to Thursday with 6 sessions a week split into different age groups. Different sessions cater to different needs of age groups with a mixture of targeted work, craft, cooking, fun and games. There are still lots of the original volunteers and Trustees on board who all give up their free time for no pay just to ensure that Crossover remains open for the young people of Liss. All of these people are committed, along with the Manager and the small team of part time paid staff, to ensuring that any young people who come to Crossover have a friendly, secure place to drop in, where they are valued as individuals and can grow to their full potential. There is always a warm supportive atmosphere and Young People have, over the years, come to us with their worries and their triumphs. We have helped where we can or passed them on to someone that can help. We have also celebrated their successes too.
We know we are successful because lots of kids have come back (once they have become too old for us) and thanked us for giving them a chance or helping them out, or just for being there. We are proud of what we do at Crossover and believe that we are a very valuable part of the local community. Further, both the police and Parish Council have noted that Youth Crime in Liss has dropped significantly since the opening of Crossover.