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09 Dec 2021

Youth clubs in Kilkenny open their doors once more

Youth clubs in Kilkenny open their doors once more

Volunteer-led, locally-based youth clubs, affiliated to and supported by Ossory Youth, have long been at the heart of youth service provision in Kilkenny.
That ethos of volunteerism, so valued by Ossory Youth, is best seen in the network of youth clubs around the county. However, in common with the rest of society impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, youth clubs have been unable to open their doors to young people for most of the past eighteen months. Zoom has come to the rescue for some clubs with club leaders, supported by Ossory Youth, organising weekly Friday night online activities.
Finally, there is now genuine hope that youth clubs can open their doors again in the autumn.
Volunteers are at the heart of every club and reopening existing clubs and establishing new ones will mean existing volunteers hopefully returning to the fray and new ones being recruited, trained and supported.
Ossory Youth are now inviting communities to consider establishing a youth club to be ready to open its doors later in the autumn.
The local youth club is at the heart of the community where young people meet their friends in a safe place, have fun, and take part in a wide range of activities. Youth clubs are for young people and run by young people in partnership with the adult volunteers. The youth club encourages participation and fosters a sense of belonging for young people where they have people who believe in them, and where they can form positive relationships with adults. It offers young people a place to go, a listening ear, and support if they need it.
Skills such as entrepreneurship, leadership and responsibility are learnt along the way and great fun is guaranteed. In summary, youth clubs are a wonderful addition to any community.
At the heart of every youth club are adult volunteers. Volunteering in a youth club though is not just the act of selflessly giving your time for the benefit of others. It’s an experience and an opportunity to engage and be engaged by your local community and the chance to witness first-hand the partnership between young people and adults and their collective ability to make great things happen. Volunteering is not about sacrifice but about an exchange where you get back more than you give.
Youth clubs could not operate without volunteers from 18 years upwards and new and existing clubs and volunteers will be supported every step of the way by Ossory Youth. This means that new clubs and volunteers will be Garda vetted and receive training and advice about all aspects of operating a youth club, including importantly child protection training. Support will be given in relation to all aspects of a weekly club programme of activities with Ossory Youth resources available to clubs.
Inter-club activities will be offered and a dedicated staff member is in place to support clubs in every aspect of establishing and running a club.
Anyone interested in starting a youth club and volunteering can contact Patrick Bookle in Ossory Youth on 056-7761200, 087-2129006 or pbookle@ossoryyouth.com.

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