G.H.A.S (Great Horwood and Singleborough) Youth Club for Young People aged 11yrs-16yrs.
Chairman’s Annual Report.
The idea of a Youth Club began at a Church Away Day in the Autumn of 2009, when we were discussing how better St James Church could serve the Village, most especially the Young People. Additionally we were aware that the Parish Plan had concluded that more recreational facilities were needed for the Youth of the Village.
We sent out questionnaires to all the Village households and received a positive response to the idea. We, therefore, set up a planning committee of interested Adults and Young People who emphasised how important a Youth Club would be to sustain friendships especially at the time when they leave the village by different modes of transport to go to disparate Secondary Schools.
The Planning Committee agreed the Aims of the Youth Club to be:-
- To provide a local resource for Young People.
- To support Young People at the age of 11+ (or school year 6) to sustain their friendship groups.
- To support and encourage community relations between the Young and not so Young of the Village.
Initial funding to set up the Youth Club came from Bucks County Council, St James Church and the Lord of the Manor. The Young People on the Planning Committee suggested a variety of activities to appeal to all tastes and interests.
G.H.A.S commenced in September 2010, with Ann Harwood (Curate) as leader and we now have 39 Young People registered who regularly meet in the Village Hall on Monday evenings.
Some Young People’s Views:-
“Great Horwood Youth Club is really fun and all the activities are great, there are new things each week”
“Tonight we have done sumo wrestling which was really enjoyable. The adults are friendly and help you if you are stuck”
“I think the Youth Club is amazing. It’s a great place to socialise”
We have attempted to offer a variety of activities ranging from table tennis, Wii games, softball tennis, craftwork, giant jenga etc etc. Additionally because we are affiliated to Action4Youth we have been able to purchase activities on offer from them which have included sumo wrestling and Mod Roc, plus the I van and sports cage from Bucks County Council.
The young people suggested being involved in the Community and so we organised for them to weed the Churchyard on a club night, followed by takeaway pizzas.
We have been very fortunate in being able to recruit Helen as our new leader, when Ann married and moved to London. Helen is ably supported by a team of volunteers without whom the club would not be able to continue.
I would like to sincerely thank David, our treasurer, Louise our Child Protection officer, Chris our secretary, Lucy who knows where everything is and how everything works, Amy our regular friendly and reliable helper, Liz our arty crafty volunteer, and Jeannie and Janthea who come along to help when their time permits. Also I must not forget Imi, and Jake, who played a pivotal part in setting up the Youth Club and regularly attend to run the tuck shop, help with Activities and clearing up at the end of the evening.
I think it would be fair to say that setting up and running the Youth Club has been a “learning experience” for many of us….most especially me!
I hope that we will continue to listen to the Young People’s ideas, that we will continue to offer a fun and supportive Youth Club and that we will be able to attract more volunteers to help run the Youth Club in order that it will become a permanent resource for years to come.
Monica Gilbey, Chair Management Committee.