Boys and Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Club was founded in 1942 as an all boys club until it expanded in the 1970s to include girls too. It now works as an umbrella organisation working with youth clubs and schools across South Yorkshire, running a range of activity programmes.
Recent funding of £1,500 from the Grant Thornton Grassroots Endowment Fund for South Yorkshire has enabled the club to hire a youth worker to deliver health and wellbeing activities to disadvantaged children aged 8 to 13.
The Club began this particular project in response to feedback from youth club leaders that more work needs to be done with children in this age group.
Many of the children being worked with are from a disadvantaged background with unstable home lives due to substance abuse, low income and a low standard of living. These factors and many others can often lead to young people becoming involved in low level crime, poor educational achievement and exclusion. The Boys and Girls Club works with many children and young people experiencing this level of deprivation.
The ongoing activity programme aims to divert participants away from anti-social behaviour as well as improving their self-esteem whilst also breaking down barriers and creating cohesion amongst children of different race, culture, sexuality and gender.
The funding has enabled the club to hold recreational and sporting activities including cycling, rock climbing, winter sports days and obstacle courses. The club has also held vocational skills courses allowing participants to engage in non-mainstream education and personal and social development courses dealing with sexual health and drug awareness.
Funding to work with this age group has been cut nationally and statistics show that young people have been hit especially hard in the last few years.
The grant has allowed the courses to be delivered for free which has enabled more schools and therefore children and young people to benefit.
If we can go into schools and intervene before young people are potentially thrown out, it makes a huge difference. Every school we have worked with so far has come back to us and asked whether we can run the same sessions again.
If money was no object then we would like to be able to be in a situation where we could put a three year plan together and have a target of setting up new youth clubs in different communities
Richard Hay, Club Development Staff Member
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