Now after 3 years of working in a youth club, I have a good idea of the work that we do with children and why. We try to provide a stable, fun environment, once a week for an hour or so for our young people to relax. Now you maybe thinking "but they are kids they are always relaxed, all they think about is running about and playing". Sometimes this is not the case, some children can be physically, emotionally or even sexually abused at home.
Now I'm going to tell you a story about a girl named Kristy. Kristy was brought up well by her mother and Grandmother but then her Grandmother fell ill and passed away. A while after, her mother got a new boyfriend and at first the were back in the swing of things but Kristy was starting to become too used to her mum's boyfriend company, she would misbehave like any normal kid. Mum's new boyfriend turned nasty sometimes beating her and her mum. Kristy would go to school keeping her school sweater on even on the hottest days of summer just to hide the bruises. She couldn't bear the thought of her friends figuring it out so she never told a teacher. Then her mates told her to come to a youth club, she went and enjoyed it. For once she could be a kid! Play football or skipping! At the youth club our youth workers spend a lot of time with the kids as you could imagine and will immediately become aware of any problems. There is no need for her friends to be suspicious or find out. She can say she is going to help one of us with the dishes on pizza night and then tell us then. Once know we can take action and get it sorted for Kristy. So she doesn't have that burden. This just shows how we help. Imagine you were Kristy imagine you were getting beaten up. You have to hide it from everyone but all you can think about at school is that what if the teacher and your friends finds out. You can't escape from it.
A youth club is where young people can get away from any stress in there lives and anything too serious can be sorted out. If there was a serious problem and they got it sorted but didn't know how to act afterwards we can show them how. Some of the smaller problems we handle are stress about the change to high school, family in recession, bullying, friendship problems, or even just going through puberty. These small things can make the world of difference for our young people. Some problems can seem strange to teachers, family or friends but we don't back away from them and usually they aren't that strange to us. We have volunteers who are usually 14-16yrs of age having the teenagers working does help because we can see subtle problems that maybe adults can't and also we know how to get kids engaged in activities because not so long ago we were one.
To sum up youth clubs are incredibly important to our young people. We give them a stable, happy, fun place to be and allow them to make mistakes and grow and have fun! Isn't that what being a kid is all about?
About Author / Additional Info:
I am a 15 year old auther from Scotland. Written from the heart.