It’s a warm, bright Monday evening and in a corner of Hunstanton in West Norfolk, young people are able to come together again for the Youth West Open Access Youth Club.
We’re proud to be part of Youth West – a partnership of five organisations, led by YMCA Norfolk, working together to deliver a network of youth clubs across West Norfolk to provide a range of activities for young people aged 11 to 18.
In June, the Youth West group in Hunstanton, delivered by The Benjamin Foundation, resumed with outdoor sessions for small groups/bubbles and with social distancing measures in place – and it’s never been more welcome. The Youth Club provides positive activities for young people, giving them a safe, supportive environment where our staff will give them opportunities to learn, socialise, talk and be a positive part of their community.
“I get to spend time with friends.” Says Jessica, one of the young people who attends regularly, while her friend Lily says: “It gets me out of the house.”
At this particular session, the group are enjoying the warm evening by getting creative in the grounds of the community centre. They are making good use of art and activity packs, which were provided free through an initiative developed by the National Heritage Scheme, Kick the Dust project and Norfolk and Norwich Bridge Festival. Lots of colourful creations are being made with a trend of creating geometric shapes on paper with masking tape and oil pastels.
“The packs are well good.” Says Kyle. “I do art in my spare time. I like designing tattoos. I never usually get things like this.”
As the group chat in their ‘bubbles’, laughter rings out.
“It’s nice for them to meet up again.” Says Angela Teague, The Benjamin Foundation Youth Work Operations Manager. “It’s a safe place where they can mix with peers, have new opportunities and talk to a member of staff if they need to.
Tracy, a parent of a young person who attends the Youth West Youth Club says: “It’s good for them to get out and socialise. I know they’re safe and well looked after.”
2020 hasn’t been easy, but with groups resuming under different circumstances and with exciting activities such as paddleboarding coming up, there is so much for the young people of Youth West to look forward to.
Youth West, is a Youth Investment Fund programme and is funded jointly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and The National Lottery Community Fund.
I feel secure and able to start believing in myself more now.