Kingdom Youth Club held their Annual General Meeting with Leo Sloan accepting the role of Chairperson and a Board consisting of Eric Campbell, Lorraine Connor, Aine Donnan, Joseph Donnan and Pauline McKeown appointed. The Board will meet at 8pm on the second Wednesday of each month; our board of directors needs to include a range of skills, experience and knowledge and be chosen on their suitability and willingness to promote the aims and interests of the Youth Club and anyone else who thinks they could help in any way should contact any Board member.
While we do have a fair sized group of volunteers we need to appoint a ‘Volunteer Co-ordinator’ to ensure we continue to attract and keep volunteers as we did while achieving our ‘Investor in Volunteers’ award.
The duty of KYC Board is to safeguard the interests of the members by ensuring that Governance, Premises, Finances & Leadership are fit for purpose; it is not Board members’ role to supervise activities on a nightly basis.
Kingdom Youth Club is an award winning youth project based outside Kilkeel aimed at 5 to 25 year olds, registered with and supported by the Education Authority. The main aim is to provide young people with a social, learning and community experience by offering accredited courses and learning opportunities; by promoting healthy lifestyles and positive mental health; by promoting good community relations;
by providing diversionary activities to keep young people from antisocial behaviour.
In the past year KYC members have taken part in training workshops including PIPS Safe Talk, Mental Health First Aid, Red Cross First Aid, Bounce & Bullseye Resilience, Domestic Abuse, CEDAR Foundation Disability Awareness, Basic Cooking Skills, Eating Disorders, Smoking Cessation, Alcohol and Substance misuse, dealing with addiction; and have taken part in trips to Lazer Quest, Carlingford Adventure Centre, Newry Omniplex, Bowling, Todd’s Leap, Formula Karting, We Are Vertigo, Belfast Mud Run, Glebe House & New York.
KYC is affiliated to the Education Authority Youth Service, the Confederation of Community Groups, the County Down Rural Community Network, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, Clubs for Young People and Youth Action NI.
KYC remains a partner, taking referrals from the Youth Justice Agency and Probation Service NI. KYC has also worked closely with the Community Safety Partnership in delivering diversionary and educational programmes and are pleased to announce that funding has been secured from the Assets Recovery Community Scheme to repeat our ‘No Need 4 Speed’ Safe Driving programme in the autumn which delivers free driving lessons to the participants.
KYC has a registered membership of 110 aged 4/8, 72 aged 9/13, 60 aged14/18, 33 aged 19/21, and 14 aged 22/25 making a total of 289 young people with an average nightly attendance of 50+.
The KYC year started on 1st July 2015 with Car Boot Sales and Street Collections towards the cost of Summer Camp in New York. All through July and August the Summer Scheme ran Monday to Friday with centre based activities such as visits by the National Reptile Zoo, Carnival Promotions Puppet Show, Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory and Phil’s Petting Farm to name a few and day trips to Lagan Valley Waterplex, Dundonald Ice Bowl and Indiana Land, Dublin Zoo, the Butterfly House and Slieve Gullion Adventure Park. In September KYC became a collection point for Refugee Aid. On Christmas Day KYC provided Christmas Dinners at the club for people who requested it. KYC partnered Youth Action in the delivery of a programme for young unemployed; partnered REACT with a teenage pharmacy programme; and partnered the Kingdom Men’s Shed in an intergenerational project.
Highlights of this past year were the turning-on of our Christmas Tree Lights, the return of the Saint Patricks Eve Community Concert after a lapse, and the recent Volunteer Recognition event.
Thanks are due to Newry, Mourne & Down Council for assistance towards the cost of the toilet renovations and towards the Summer Scheme; the Education Authority for staff and core costs; and the Department of Education has provided funding for the kitchen and training room development; improvements which have greatly enhanced what KYC is able to offer, but which also brings an onus on us to use these marvellous facilities to their optimum.
However, KYC needs more people taking ownership of the club and getting involved in some aspect of its running. The paid staff have a big role to play here, they are titled ‘leaders’ and must lead; recruitment goes hand in hand with a vibrant programme and follow-ups to other groups and schools must be ongoing all the time; there are those young people who know what is on offer through KYC but opt out and also still those who remain unaware of the opportunities available through KYC – both groups need to be encouraged to join the young people who do participate in our activities. The programme on offer must address our aims as laid out above and having regular meetings on a set day each week or set date each month will ensure personnel and programmes remain on track and prosper. If you think you can play a part then let us know!