FOR FOUR years now, a husband and wife team have led a volunteer service aimed at giving young people a place to come together.

Sadly, the i-61 Bus of Hope has been off the road for a while now as the current bus has needed repairs.

Because it was built so long ago - 37 years ago to be exact - Glenn Prince, 33, and wife Abby, 31, cannot obtain the parts to fix it and so have been forced into the painful decision to replace for a newer bus.

"Over the last four years we have seen hundreds of young people benefitting from this free facility offering games consoles, nail bar, board games, chat space and free hot chocolate mountains," Mr Prince told the Advertiser.

"The local police and community have commented on a drop in youth anti-social behaviour on the evenings we run, and 'know when we are not there'.

"The young people are really keen for us to be back out ASAP."

Andover Advertiser:

Hot chocolate mountains with kitchen queen Becky

The Picket Twenty man says what they offer with the bus is a safe placed for young people to go, somewhere fun to cure boredom and most importantly, a place to belong.

"So many of us simply want to belong and a lot of the young people we engage with have many challenges in their lives," Mr Prince added.

"We see the negative side of this yearning for a place to belong in young people getting caught up in anti-social behaviour and county lines activity.

"However, we have been able to witness change through the work of the bus giving positive role models: young people gaining confidence, overcoming hopelessness and more than a few overcoming suicidal thoughts and believing in a better future.

"This is our motivation to keep going. We see a need in our town with many young people not being reached, we want to go to them and make an impact that redirects their life to become ambassadors of their community, raising community spirits and having a hope for a great future."

Andover Advertiser:

The upper deck of the current bus

But with the need for a new bus not coming cheap, the couple decided to set up a fundraising page to help with the covering the costs.

"We have been grateful to a few local business’ supporting us with our biggest and most long term support coming from Stannah and Stagecoach Bus," he added.

"It’s this support that helps us with the operational costs of running a bus, however with the unexpectedness of being unable to repair our current bus we need to raise funds for the capital investment of a replacement.

"The equipment will be transferred from our old bus and we will be able to get back out into the community ASAP. We’ve been humbled that even young people have contributed to the GoFundMe page."

To view the GoFundMe page, click here.