Plea for more people to help keep popular Alfreton youth club running

A popular youth club which helps provide a social outlet whilst helping to boost youngsters’ confidence is appealing for more volunteers to help keep it running at Blackwell.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 4:30 pm

The future of Blackwell Youth Club was uncertain during the pandemic but now due to increasing demand it is seeking more helpers.

The club, near Alfreton, was founded by parents in 2006, and is run by a dedicated team of volunteers. Committee members Phil Dooley, Karen Mitchell and Sharon Shaw have been a part of the club since its first day.

Self-funded, the club organises social sessions for children aged five to 16, so they can meet and make friends. Activities include arts, crafts, sports, games, chill-out room, movies and tuck shop. It also takes groups on residential trips to an outdoor activity centre for team and confidence building.

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Blackwell Youth Club is appealing for new volunteer leaders. Pictured are current helpers Imogen Lee, Alliyah Rountree, with committee members Phil Dooley, Karen Mitchell and Sharon Shaw.

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Throughout the year, the club fundraises organising everything from car washes, fashion shows and popular psychic evenings. An autumn fayre is being held from 10am to 1pm on October 17.

Phil Dooley said: “When the pandemic began we were forced to close, having spent many years averaging around 50 to 60 children attending weekly. The future of the club became uncertain, we had no idea if we’d be able to reopen.

“After 18 months in the dark, we finally reopened again in September, and welcome around 60 children each week from Blackwell and the surrounding villages.

Youngsters have fun playing ping pong at the Blackwell Youth Club which is appealing for volunteer leaders.

"It’s been amazing seeing the children again, it showed how much our club was missed. It's great to see many younger children join as it enables them to build confidence and meet new friends away from school.

“We have a great team of volunteers who give up their time, but due to the vast number of children attending, we really need a few more volunteers, whether it's for one session a week, or every fortnight. Any time is greatly appreciated.”

The club is at the Blackwell Community Centre, in Woburn Close, on Mondays, with ages 5 to 11 from 5pm to 6.30pm, and 9 to 16 from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Just some of the many fun activities available at the Blackwell Youth Club which needs more volunteers.

The club seeks helpers over 18 or school years 10 and 11, college students who wish to gain experience working with children, or those undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme. DBS applications are required, paid for by the club. Contact: [email protected]

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Blackwell Youth Club in plea for more helpers. Pictured are committee members Phil Dooley, Sharon Shaw, and Karen Mitchell with helpers Alliyah Rountree and Imogen Lee, who are both former youth club members, but are now helpers. The pair are on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, which includes doing voluntary work.