A COMMUNITY hub will no longer hold drop-in sessions for young people after its building was vandalised.

The Miners Lamp Cafe in Prudhoe was used by the town’s youth project for a weekly drop-in session.

But, after an incident last Wednesday where a table was damaged and the ladies toilets were covered in graffiti, the project decided that the sessions could no longer go ahead at the cafe, and would have to move to a different venue.

Russ Greig, a trustee of the cafe, said he was disappointed that the decision had been made, but added: “Unfortunately, some of the kids had written their names on the tables and scrawled all over them.

“There were also obscene images in both our ladies toilets which required repainting.

“We don’t want the kids to lose out. It would be a shame for the other kids to lose out because kids down West Wylam won’t go to the other sessions at the Methodist Church.

“We are looking at other options.”

Following the incident, Prudhoe’s branch of Jewsons gave the cafe paint to repair the damage done by the graffiti in the toilets.

Russ added: “We got some paint given by Jewsons for the ceiling and the walls weren’t too bad.

“However, the table needed sanding down and re-waxing because the kids used felt tip pens, and the ink had sunk into the wood.”

The incident was reported to Northumbria Police at the weekend. The police described the vandalism as unacceptable and vowed to take action against the offenders.

A police spokesman said: “It was reported that between 5.45pm and 7pm on January 22, individuals sprayed graffiti on the walls, doors and ceiling in the female toilets.

“Intentional acts of criminal damage are completely unacceptable and we will take action against anybody found to have been involved.

“Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 570 of the 25/01/20 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Rachel Noble, the chairwoman of the Prudhoe Youth Project, moved to defend the sessions.

She said: “Prudhoe Youth Project has been providing advice and support on sexual health and mental health issues at the Miners Lamp Cafe since the beginning of the year.

“The sessions have been popular and much appreciated.

“However, as a result of an incident last week we are moving these sessions to another nearby venue.

“We cannot say more about what happened last week except that it has been blown out of proportion.

“We were shocked that it had been publicised on Facebook which contravenes our safeguarding procedures to protect the confidentiality of young people coming to the project.”