A lack of services in Ballsgrove has led to the opening of a new Youth Club in an effort to provide an outlet for children aged 8-12.
pening prior to Christmas, the Ballsgrove Youth Club is run by four volunteers, Chloe Kelly, Emily Woods, Barbara Carton and Pauline McCauley, working together each week to ensure they provide a safe and fun environment for children to attend.
The Ballsgrove Youth Club is under the direct supervision of Youth Work Ireland, Louth.
Chloe said, “On our first week, just before Christmas, we had just two young people and ever since we have been welcoming new members each week, we are now up to over 30 young people engaging with the service each week.”
Running every Wednesday in Loaves and Fishes Community Center, they have had to split the group into two different times due to the increased interest.
From 6-7pm they welcome the younger aged group ranging from 8–10-year olds, while an hour later from 7-8pm the older group of 10–12-year olds attend.
Chloe initially teamed up with a youth worker from Youth Ireland Louth, establishing this youth club in response to a lack of services for young people in the Ballsgrove area.
“It was much needed in the community especially after COVID, young people have been locked away for the last two years, a bit of social interaction is needed.”
At the beginning of each week the volunteers and children take part in Pit and Peak, a simple activity to allow volunteers to get an understanding of how everyone’s week has been. A Peak is something nice that happened during the week, meanwhile a Pit is something not so nice.
Chloe added, “We have recently had an art student Rachel Reay with us for four weeks and she delivered an amazing childrens book illustration workshop. The young people loved it and each week their art and creative skills are improving. ”
Now that the weather has improved, the group have brought the activities outside for a change.
Other activities include arts and crafts, team building exercises, quizzes, and lots more.
“We have high hopes for this youth club and are so excited about what the future may hold for us all at Balls grove youth club.
“The feedback in the community has been great as people feel there is not a lot for kids to do nowadays to keep them busy and off the streets. It is good to be able to bring something positive to young people’s lives. It has been amazing for volunteers to watch each young person grow and make friends and excel in things they might never have tried before. ”
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