People in Lower Gornal have rallied, mobilised and rolled up their sleeves to reopen the Friday night youth club at Lower Gornal Youth Centre, and I’ve really enjoyed supporting them to make it happen!
The youth club was previously run by Dudley Council, but had to close last summer. In September, I was invited to meet a group of adults, mostly parents, who were interested in bringing the youth club back.
Over the next couple of months, I helped the volunteers to develop their committee and understand their roles. I sat with a couple of them to help the group produce their constitution, which they would need in order to apply for a small start-up grant from Dudley’s Community Forum. On top of that, new groups that apply to the Community Forum have to send a business plan with their application, so I ran a workshop where we developed their plan. They were really ambitious, hoping to create a club where young people can ASPIRE:
- Be safe
- Make a positive contribution
- Inspire and be inspired
- Take responsibility
- Be epic!
I was on the end of the phone to help with queries to do with insurance and I also connected the group with Eileen from our Volunteer Centre, who helped to put a call out to encourage people to come forward and help make the club happen. Nicki Burrows and the Youth Service’s Abdul Hamed from the Youth Service were also really helpful, supporting the group with liaising with the Council, DBS checks for volunteers, safeguarding and first aid training.
And now? I was so amazed when I visited to see how they were getting on. Thanks to the support, the group:
- was successful in their bid to the Community Forum, receiving £4,000 to give their club a great kick start!
- has a pool of over 30 volunteers they can call on so that they can manage a weekly rota of cover for the club.
- has built a membership list of over 40 young people and at least 30 attend regularly!
It was incredible to see how far they’ve come in such a short space of time and to see the relationships they’ve built with the young people. I’m so pleased to have been able to support these selfless people to make their club happen.
Committee member Lisa Blackham said the help “made everything happen. We wouldn’t have even known where to start if it hadn’t been for CVS. We are now running a very successful youth club with over 70 children registered… we get around 40 children most weeks and the feedback from them has been great.”
A massive WELL DONE to all of the volunteers that make this vibrant youth club happen week in, week out!
You can find the club on Facebook if you’re interested in joining or helping out. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.