EastEnders actor opens relaxing zone for teenagers at Barking Library

An EastEnders star helped launch a new dedicated space in Barking Library for young people to relax, socialise and take a break from studying.

The area, aimed at teenagers and young adults, features a gaming station, music, DVDs and internet access, and provides information and guidance on health and social issues.

It was officially opened by councillors and EastEnder actor Ricky Norwood, who plays Fatboy, at a colourful talent show event on May 25.

The area’s main purpose is to offer young people a place to relax and take time out from studying, but the library will also use the zone to run youth workshops and advice sessions.

Following a naming competition at local schools, the area has been called IGII-9: The Lounge, a combination of the building’s postcode and the target age range of users.

A new youth forum formed as part of the project, called IG11-9, has been instrumental in developing the space and organising the launch night.

Cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Bert Collins, said: “I think that this new space is wonderful, and will make a real difference and be of great use to many young people in the borough.”