The Youth Centre offers many different opportunities, activities and development programmes that young people can get involved in. The ‘drop in’ service runs six nights a week. This is where young people can attend the centre and participate in different team building games, sporting activities or just have a safe space to socialise with friends.
6pm to 7pm is for young people aged 5 to 7 and this service runs from Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday’s will be a focused group work night for innovative programmes and focused pieces of group work. These young people enjoy fun games as well as arts and crafts and there is also music provided to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
7pm to 8:30pm is for young people aged 8 to 11. They also enjoy fun, team building games as well as football, games of pool, table tennis and numerous others. Many of the young people at this age range have also reached the stage where they can become involved in different group work programmes.
8:30pm to 10pm is for young people aged 12+. These young people enjoy games of pool and table tennis as well as socialising with some music on in a safe environment. They also have the opportunity to cook or bake which they have enjoyed previously. A few of the seniors are also involved in some other upcoming group programmes.
On Thursdays and Fridays the centre opens from 7pm for intermediates and seniors only. Midnight Club runs for seniors on Friday nights which means that the centre is open until 12 midnight. Through the drop in service alone, the young people are able to participate in many different things however, we also have many different group work programmes.
One programme running is the amazing Romania Project. This project gives young people the opportunity to travel to Baraolt where they volunteer in orphanages and schools for children with disabilities, family homes for children without parents and many other forms of outstanding work to help the community in Romania. Many of the staff team have been involved in this programme over the years such as Demi-leigh, Roisin, Riona, Bernie, James and Liam and it has been very successful. Sean is the leader in charge of this project and he has put in amazing work to ensure that the young people gain the best experience possible.
Another initiative would be the South Africa programme where young people have an incredible opportunity to get involved and travel to South Africa to volunteer and to work in the community over there helping as many people as possible. Paddy is the leader in charge of this programme. He and his group meet together weekly to engage in different sessions that will prepare them for the work that they will be doing out there.
Girls 8-11 Year Olds
The ‘New Look, New Lodge’ programme runs every Wednesday for a group of girls aged 8 to 11. The young people have been looking at friendships, bullying, stereotyping and many other different topics to help with their personal and social development. The young people have also come up with their own ideas to give back to the community. They are working towards different goals such as making hampers, doing a community clean up and putting on a play for people in the area. The young people have also been given the opportunity to get involved in some cross community work with another group of young people. Riona and Chloe work with the girls on this programme and are hoping that it helps the girls become ready for different group work opportunities.
Health & Wellbeing
A new programme has recently started called the Health and Well-being project. This is in partnership with Active Communities and involves some of the senior girls. The programme is all about getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle. The girls have the opportunity to participate in training sessions with personal trainers as well as circuit classes, Zumba classes and long walks around the area. The girls have also talked about having classes on homemade skin care recipes and how this can help them to save money as well as look after themselves. Roisin, Louise and Chloe work on this project to ensure the girls know about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
The Family Support Programme is another one of the excellent programmes that the centre has to offer. It runs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays every week and Rebecca, Kerrileigh, Sinead, Mary, Riona and Ryan work hard to ensure that the young people get the full benefit of the programme. The staff team work with young people with additional needs in order to provide them with the support they need. They take part in different activities that run in the drop in. However; this group is a lot smaller than the group who attend the drop in. This gives the young people on the Family Support Programme the opportunity to get more attention from the staff team in order to help them build relationships with staff and feel more comfortable in the youth centre setting.
Another inititive that the centre offers is the ‘Disability Support’ Programme that it runs with the 174 Trust. Here the staff team works with children with a range of disabilities promoting inclusion and social development through different educational activities.
You and Me Programme
Kerri-leigh runs a programme with a group of young people called ‘You and Me’. It focuses on personal and social development for young people aged 12 to 15. Within this programme young people will focus on building confidence, realising new opportunities and also planning community and social action projects. This group takes place each Wednesday and you can speak with Kerri-leigh for more details.
Young Mens Group
A young men’s group has recently kicked off with Ryan for the intermediate boys. The group will spend 12 weeks participating in team building activities as well as exploring identity, citizenship and group work sessions focusing on improving the confidence the young men have in other communities. There has already been a massively positive impact with 16 young men from the Youth Centre expressing an interest in the project.
Mags has also started a group for young women called Fearless. This group focuses on the challenges that young women face throughout their lives and how they can keep themselves safe during these challenges. Mags will look at how to keep both you and your friends safe. It takes place each Thursday night in the Youth Centre. The girls will look at some drugs and alcohol awareness as well as first aid in order to give them the skills to stay safe.
Sinead runs the Youth Forum Group and its aim is to plan events and be advocates for members of the Youth Centre. We are currently seeking new members and everyone is welcome. This group is for young people aged 14 to 16 and takes place on a Monday night.
History of the Youth Centre
James has started a group called FUN YC that focuses on the history of the youth centre through photographs and stories. They hope to complete this project with a new mural depicting the history of the centre. If you have any photographs or stories, please contact the centre or speak to James. This programme takes place on a Friday night.
Kerri-leigh and Rebecca, working alongside New Lodge Arts and external facilitators are delivering a programme exploring music, art and filming. This programme was designed for young people from a deprived area with limited opportunities. The aim is to build confidence, resilience and develop new skills in an informal educational setting.
For further information on New Lodge Youth Centre contact Paul Dynes on 02890751358
New Lodge Youth Centre is a project of Ashton Community Trust.