The Glens youth club have been very busy since over this last few month.
They have just completed a fantastic inclusion project. Their target group was young people of all abilities aged between 8 and 25 within our community interested in drama, music, dance and exercise.
A spokesperson for the Club said: “We aimed to widen participation in the performing arts for people with disabilities and learning difficulties, to develop an inclusive environment for people with a wide range of abilities, to create a supported and supportive environment in which work skills relevant to the performing arts industry can be developed, to create a level playing field where all participants can step over their thresholds of perceived possibility.
“Our inclusive project had an opportunity for all participants to gain new physical and creative skills, shifting attitudes and overcoming prejudice, both their own and those around them.
“The beauty of inclusive work is the opportunities and challenges that different bodies offer; no assumptions can be made and new techniques have to be searched for.
“However we at the Glens Youth Club feel that the most important thing gained was the strong relationships and lasting friendships between participants, facilitators and youth club staff.
“Another of our projects was our F.I.T project, this project was aimed at 16 to 25 year olds living in the middle Glens, student, unemployed and single parents. This project was done in conjunction with St Killians College to ensure we reached a wider section of our young people. The aim of this project was to introduce free exercise for 16 to 25 year
olds. We aimed to promote health and well being among 16 to 25 year olds by addressing healthy eating, suicide awareness, drug and alcohol abuse, exercise, Having your say and unemployment.
“The project aimed to build young people’s levels of resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover easily from difficult times, to develop coping strategies, to bounce back stronger. We provided activities which helped develop confidence self esteem, team work skills, problem solving, communication, trust, physical fitness, feelings of accomplishment, and above all they had lots of fun,
“We at the Glens youth club also believe in working towards a culture of prevention which enables young people to help themselves and look after their own emotional, physical and mental well being. As part of this programme we had free Spin, Zumba, yoga and ‘be strong’ exercise classes, we had team building sessions with ‘Ardclinis’,
“We took part in a 6 week ‘Cook it programme’ with Edel Healy, We had talks on Drug and Alcohol abuse, hydration, skincare and much more. We would like to take this opportunity to thank NACN for their support in procuring grants to help facilitate these
fantastic projects, to the NEELB Ballymena Youth Service for funding and supporting ourprojects, to ‘Big Telly’ drama group for facilitating the drama sessions and to the ‘Friends’group for their continued support.
“Due to the success of these projects the inclusion group with continue finding new and fun ways to continue learning and strengthen our friendships.
“We run on a Wednesday night 7 to 9 and Saturday morning 11 to 1pm. On a Thursday evening which is exclusively a senior
session we will continue with our Free ‘Be Strong’ sessions from 7 to 8pm also Fun Netball from 8 to 9pm.”