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.
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.
"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.
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]