Thanks to funding of £719.00 from the Doncaster Community Grassroots Endowment Fund the club can run more sessions for longer for ages 7 to12 and 13 to18 groups.
The club runs every Wednesday and the funding has also enabled the employment of two youth
workers to manage the numbers of children and young people attending each week, which ranges from 80 to 120 attendees.
The majority of the children attending are from the local Roma-Slovak and Roma-Czech
community which is highly isolated and one of the most deprived in Doncaster.
The club aims to develop the youth club to encourage integration. As the community is still regularly faced with racism and division.
Paul Harrison, Club Secretary said: “I had to set up the youth club because I couldn’t keep walking past these groups of kids with no where to go. After the church run youth club shut down in the area there was nothing for them anymore.
“We run the boxing club here a couple days a week and I knew we had the space to set
something up so that is what we did. Here they have the centre to play football and run around without being at risk.”
The centre has a pool table, stereo, table football and an area for drawing and writing as well as a tuck shop. They also have a outside courtyard for playing football and have recently put up a brand new basketball hoop thanks to the funding too.
Alongside a fun and safe place for the young people to attend, the youth workers run sports and dance activities and help with English language skills if the need is identified and often have the kids teach them their own languages which range from Slovakian, Turkish, Spanish and Czech. For the older group, they will soon begin regular sessions teaching sexual health and drug awareness.
Darren, Lead Youth Worker said: “Now, we’ve got started we want to do more things which the kids want and address needs which we have identified too. We would like to run more beauty sessions for the girls, which they have asked for. They all live for their music too so we want to do more around that. We have also noted that many struggle with counting money when they buy things from the tuck shop so we plan to do some basic math sessions too.”
The club also plans to do more activity out in the community and around Doncaster to help with the confidence of the children who attend and to hopefully encourage more awareness and integration in the area.
Paul added: “ We want to do what we can to stop this isolation, especially for local children. We are actually hosting a parents evening for the school most of the kids who come to youth club attend as very few of their parents will go outside of this community for anything and so have never met their children’s teachers.”