By Rebecca Hannant
Staff at Easington Youth Club say they are looking to the future to secure more opportunities for fundraising and activities for young people.
Since 1970, the youth club has provided a safe and welcoming space for children of all ages from the village and surrounding areas. It has welcomed new ideas and has adapted with the times, allowing generations of families to engage in activities, make friends and learn new skills.
It now boasts a recently installed computer room, a play area, pool table and a tuck shop, and also aims to provide trips for young people and their families biannually.
Representatives at the youth club have said that, for many of the children, it is their only way of engaging with the community outside school as there are limited opportunities in the village and surrounding areas.
One of the club’s biggest offerings for young people aged over 14 is the chance to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and Easington Youth Club is believed to be the only place providing the scheme in the Holderness area.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a UK-wide volunteer scheme that sees teenagers and young adults aged between 14 and 25 complete a series of activities within their communities. For the bronze and silver awards, participants must complete four sections: physical, skill, volunteering and expedition. Those on the gold award must also complete a residential trip.
Easington Youth Club has helped hundreds of participants in our area complete at least one of the three awards. Those on the volunteer section recently cleared the paths at All Saints’ Church in Easington before re-laying two tons of limestone chipping to provide easier access. Other children have been involved in a community car wash, as well as organising stalls at various village events, and helping a vulnerable elderly resident restore her garden.
Representatives from the club said that, as well as helping the community, the award had been instrumental in young people receiving offers from leading universities such as Cambridge and Edinburgh, as well helping them find new jobs. Other participants have also gone on to become leaders at the youth club, helping the next generation to complete their awards.
Christina Keyworth, of Easington Youth Club, said: “What we are finding is that, for those who are wanting to go to university, this is making a difference on their CV. It seems to be that the involvement they have had with the award includes skills that either employers, colleges or universities are looking for. They are recognising the motivation, teamwork and working on your own.”
Rising costs mean that the youth club is having to work harder than ever to find the funds needed to continue providing its services. The annual cost of keeping it open is currently £8,000. Regular events such as craft fairs help boost funds, and the club is also looking for sponsors to help secure its place for the future. They are also looking for projects for their Duke of Edinburgh participants to get involved with.
Each week, the club hosts three sessions for young people, including two youth groups and the Duke of Edinburgh group.
The Duke of Edinburgh group meets on Mondays at 6pm. The higher-aged group meets on Wednesdays from 6.30pm to 8.30pm for those in year 6 and above. Children in year 5 and under meet on Thursday nights from 4pm to 5pm. Anyone under the age of eight is required to have supervision from an adult.