At the end of my first year as Chair, we have had a fabulous year; the youth club continues to go from strength to strength with a steady increase in numbers week on week.
To date we now have 47 children registered of which between 33-35 attend on a regular basis. What is pleasing is that we are having children join from outside the village where there is already a strong Youth Club set up, so we must be doing something right.
We will need to push again for more volunteers to help us on a regular basis as with the present numbers we can only go to 40 before we are pushing our ratios. We set these ratios at what we feel is a safe level to ensure all the children have the time they may need with us. There would be no benefit to any of the children if we were always too busy to spend time with them. Our current ratios level is set at 8:1 which for the ages we run is about average. We currently have 5 leaders with one new lady soon to join, which would give us the ability to take up to 48 children.
We have continued to offer a variety of activities for the sessions, from the reptile lady who brings a selection of animals and other scary creatures, to the art and craft sessions run by both NAYC Richard and Michelle, the children love these sessions and there is always a full table. We have also taken the children roller skating and wall climbing, again another well attended session which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
We previously mentioned we continue to receive regular support from NAYC whether it be to deliver arts and crafts or a fun indoor all inclusive activity with Iain. Throughout the year we have been pleased to offer placements for older children who are completing their Duke of Edinburgh awards, we have been really lucky to have had some great seniors who have been fully interacting with the children and I would like to hope that they have gone away having had a very full and inspiring time with us.
We are also ever grateful to the Parish Council who continue to support the Youth Club and are always available to offer support or advice when needed. Throughout the year we have continued to maintain and where possible improve the Youth Club for the future, this year we have had a radiator fitted into the disabled toilet, we have replaced the fire exit door and also had the soffits, guttering and cladding replaced.
It has not all been plain sailing, we still continue to have trouble from the delightful youths in the village, who feel they have the right to abuse our building, I am ever hopeful that once our community police man is in office, he will play a big part in deterring these delightful youths.
We will also be continuing with our gardening contract, which I am confident will continue to see the grounds maintained to a much better standard than previously. We continue to take booking for parties etc, although we are ever conscious of the type of party and the hours they are, as well as the return of the Boxercise classes which are held once a week.
We are also really pleased to see that Autism East Midlands have continued to use the youth club during the half terms for their base and it is nice to see them out and about in our community. From February they will also be running a youth club for children with Autism on a Sunday Morning once a month.
We have also recently welcomed “Hey Babies” a new babies, toddlers and mums group which runs on a Wednesday morning at the Youth Club, we wish them every success.
All in all the youth club continues to thrive and I cannot thank our leaders enough, who always seem to go the extra mile for the children. Therefore big thanks to Lynda, Keiran, Michelle and Adam and all those others who from time to time have given up their evenings to help us out.
Here’s to the next 12 months.
Lesley Dilkes – Chairperson
The popular Nether Heyford Youth Club for ages 6-11, on Monday Evenings (Term Time), run by volunteers and is a non-for-profit making club.
Sessions are 5:30pm-7:00pm and they ask that children are collected by a responsible person during the dark nights.
The Youth Club is also available for private hire.