LYS believes the Government needs to put additional resources into these volunteer-led youth clubs so that they can resume their provision in a safe manner once restrictions have been lifted.
These resources include training for volunteers in areas such as reopening youth clubs safely, new methods of delivering activities and programmes while following public health guidelines.
‘youth clubs are an vital part of the local community’
Youth clubs will also need funding for ‘health and safety packs’ that will include hand sanitizers, masks and information leaflets, while some community centres may need to be re-design to be complaint with public health guidelines i.e., ventilation, floor markings and outdoor supports.
Volunteer led youth clubs are an vital part of the local community and play a major role in community coherence particularly in rural and isolated areas.
40% of respondents to a study into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Ireland’s teenagers have suggested they are struggling with the impacts of lockdown and often feel lonely or alone.
The study found that these prolonged periods of social distancing are occurring during a critical stage of life for our teenagers with volunteers reporting significant concerns in relation to the young people who attended their clubs,’ said Dr. Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, NUI Galway.
With decades of experience in developing and supporting youth clubs, LYS understands the vital role they play in the lives of young people.
‘The local youth club is where young people spend their free time, meet friends and take part in a variety of activities and programmes,’ said Maurice Walsh, LYS Youth Work Manager.
‘We feel that young people need to get back to a sense of normality and communities need to have their youth clubs reopened as soon as it is safe to do so,’ said Maurice.
LYS supports over twenty volunteer led youth clubs across Limerick City and County and is committed to advocating for the importance of youth clubs.
Those interested in reopening or establish a youth club in their community or who wish to volunteer with one are asked to contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 061-412444.
A member of Youth Work Ireland and the Irish Association of Community Training Organisations, LYS remains committed to connecting with young people and supporting them to reach their full potential.