Youth Work Ireland Midlands (YWIM) are planning a roadshow for September and October 2021 to reinvigorate youth clubs in Westmeath, Offaly and Roscommon. The title is of the event is “Get Back Clubbing – Join a Youth Club! The idea of the event is to invite the public to come and see what youth clubs are available in an area. The event will showcase youth clubs and give an opportunity for the public to get information on clubs and enrol in clubs. The event will act as a focal point for advertising for youth clubs to get new members and volunteer helpers using social media, local press and radio. Each club participating will have a table to use for enrolling new members and volunteer helpers. Clubs can carry out demonstrations, display equipment, display things produced, display what they do etc. Light food and refreshment will be provided free of charge. The event is open to any youth club to participate in.
The first of these events will take place on Saturday the 18th of September from 2-4pm in the YoYo Youth Café, Columb Barracks, Ashe Road, Mullingar. N91 E18X. We are also hoping to roll out the event to Athlone, Tullamore, Edenderry, Rochfortbridge, Clara, Birr/Banagher and Roscommon. Smaller rural villages where Youth Work Ireland Midlands clubs are represented are also a possibility to run such an event on a smaller scale.
The benefits of joining a youth club?
Youth groups have been part of the fabric of many communities for decades. Here, at Youth Work Ireland Midlands we have clubs as far back as the late 1960’s. Yet a surprisingly large number of people have never been exposed to them. It’s no surprise, therefore, that these people are unaware of the many benefits a youth group could have on their young people.
Health and Fitness
One of the most obvious benefits young people will acquire from their youth group is a good amount of healthy exercise due to the style of games that are frequently played. In a society where young people are often not given the opportunity to participate in sport, the opportunity to get regular exercise is undoubtedly a real and important benefit, while also acquiring the ability to work in a team. Yet, not being competitive.
Many youth groups offer training and activities based on specific skills, arts and crafts, computer programming, darts, drama, music, dance etc. The individual skills involved in some of these activities, include many life-skills and hopefully develop or encourage a lifelong hobby / extra circular activity. For some young people it often develops into a career path.
A Sense of Identity
In addition to the ‘concrete’ benefits of youth clubs, young people will also benefit from the general atmosphere. Youth clubs are designed to help young people who perhaps struggle to feel part of a wider community. Youth clubs can be great places for young people to get back on their community with renewed confidence and a real sense of well-being. Not only this, but they may well also find that they are able to make new friends and to become part of a new social group. The relationship between the youth work – weather paid or voluntary is also of key importance to a successful youth club. Therefore the benefits a youth club can bring are very varied, ranging from the fun to the serious. It’s certainly true that children can gain many benefits from attending youth clubs!
There are many benefits to the Volunteer too. These include: