Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jersey Youth Service - "Link" - Official Opening on 12 January 2018

The public was invited to the official opening by CM Gorst of the new "Link" an information and advice "Drop In Centre" at Eagle House, La Colomberie, St Helier on 12 January 2018.

This is intended to assist young people in the 14 - 25 age group but younger children are also catered for. Parents or other adults can also attend for information.

"The Link" is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from midday until 6pm and can be contacted on 01534 280530 or by email on yes@jys.js

This was formerly a shop and the Social Security "Back to Work" scheme operates from upper floors of this multi-occupancy building.

I recorded a video of my visit and this follows in two parts.
I have substantial concerns about the poor facilities and safety of this building and am researching the recent history with the Planning Office, Building Inspectorate and Fire Department. I have outlined my concerns in the second video below but start here with this introduction and words mainly from CM Gorst;
Part One

Part Two video
looks behind the scenes of this "drop in shop," at the lack of accessible toilets and the tatty state of those that are provided, the potentially dangerous escape route which has a sink and cooking facility within it - besides other access issues such as narrow doorways and a step at the entrance (inward opening) front door, lack of hearing loops and  small interview rooms.
Curiously, a Change of Use permission was granted for this former (clothes) shop and a Planning (Charity rate) fee of £507 paid but it is not clear what Class the facility is now and it is also not yet clear why there is no requirement to provide "disability standard" toilets and how the escape routes and fire safety have not been improved in this multi-occupation building.
I am researching these matters further but in the meantime would urge that this facility remains closed until proper safety and access audits have been undertaken and any necessary improvements carried for the better protection of all persons - including "Link" staff or young clients - who might use this building.

Subsequent exchange of letters with CM Gorst  (below)
Copied to the Children's Commissioner

Dear Mr Dun

Thank you for your message and your observations following the recent opening of the ‘Link Project’.

Officers have assured me that a full planning application for a change of use and also a building control application for the works that were carried out have been signed off by the appropriate department. Those works that were undertaken were as a result of an architect plans which were commissioned and these were submitted to the Environment Department.

In the light of your concerns, officers have revisited and updated risk assessments and operational procedures to enable the safe delivery of the Youth Enquiry Service in the premises. I would also add that since your visit and video report, a hearing loop is now in place and a ramp is ordered with a view to immediate installation.

I hope you find this response of assistance.

Kind regards

Senator Ian Gorst

Chief Minister of Jersey

Cyril Le Marquand House | PO Box 140 | St Helier | Jersey JE4 8QT


From: Mike Dun To: Ian Gorst
Subject: FW: The Link, Jersey Youth Service - revised email with link

Dear Chief Minister,

Thanks for the brief interview which is posted on the blog link below.

Unfortunately on examination beyond the “shop” I have found this facility falls short of an acceptable standard on several counts and have shown these, mostly on Part Two of my blog video.

This building is in multiple occupation including the SS “Back to Work” office above and there appear to be shared exit and toilet facilities which are of a poor standard.

From a safety point of view I consider that the exit routes are potentially dangerous for all users of this building.

I do not know what alternative access and exit provisions exist from the upper levels or if there is a lift to afford access for persons with disabilities.

However from what I have seen I think that the “Link” should remain closed until a proper audit has been undertaken of all the facilities and safety provisions and any necessary improvements carried out.


Mike Dun




  1. An excellent informative blog and in particular the two part video recoding. The place is a death trap and everybody is patting themselves on the back! Why won't the mainstream media do this kind of reporting instead of patting these people on the back also? People are at serious risk in that building and especially disabled people who it doesn't cater for.

    Among the many excellent points you made in the videos the fact that the new children's commissioner was nowhere to be seen speaks volumes. It is all just window dressing and thank you for showing us Mr. Gruchy.

  2. Tom Gruchy.

    Great stuff albeit very alarming. One wonders if the absent (from the opening) new Children's Commissioner would believe children would be safe in the building? If not, will she speak out about it? #InterestingTimes.