A LONG-running youth theatre group has found a new home in Halesowen in a bid to secure its future from the risk of closure.

Jigsaw Youth Theatre was founded in 1975 and has been based in Netherton for the past 40 years, giving young people the chance to express themselves in a safe, creative environment.

Due to funding cuts, the group have had to relocate and have now found a new home at the Huntingtree Park Centre, where it now runs on donations and the efforts of volunteers.

The group is now calling for more members to join up to ensure the group has a future in its new home.

Chantelle De La Mare, secretary of the club who has been a member for 17 years, said: "We looking to get our name back out there, we haven't gone anywhere but we need more young people coming through the door to be sustainable."

Jigsaw Youth Theatre does not hold auditions, so any youngster can get involved, and young people write, direct and stage their own material as well as perform.

Chantelle credits joining the group aged 12-years-old as being crucial to building her confidence as a youngster and she says the group offers young people the chance to stretch themselves and make friends from all walks of life.

She said: "If it wasn't for joining Jigsaw I wouldn't have gone to university, it completely helped me with boosting my confidence and the ability to mix with people.

"It is more like a family, the senior leaders have been there for 25 years."

Sessions run every Monday for juniors (aged seven plus) from 5.30pm to 7.30pm and for seniors (aged 13 plus) and are open to youngsters from across the Dudley borough.

To showcase its place in the community, the senior group will be performing The Nervous Disposition of Genevieve Curio on December 12 and 13 at 7.30pm at Huntingtree Park Centre.

Admission is free but donations are welcome. To reserve a ticket call 07739467485.