St Mary's Island Youth Club
NOTICE OF TEMPORARY CLOSURE
Dear Members, Year 6 Children and Young Volunteers,
Following much consideration, and as a direct result of the considerable escalation in positive Covid tests in children under the age of 12 years, the Steering Group of the St Mary’s Island Youth Club (Island Castaways) has regrettably and reluctantly decided to temporarily close the Club with immediate effect.
We are truly saddened that this has been necessary but we must always ensure that we operate in a Covid safe environment for Members and Volunteers alike.
The Steering Group will review the situation early in the New Year when we hope to be able to advise you of the date on which we will be reopening.
In the meanwhile, all our Volunteers wish you a very Happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you all in the very near future.
Secretary and Club Administrator 25th November 2021
The Island Castaways youth club opened in May 2008 and is affiliated to Kent Youth.
The Club meets at the Community Centre every Friday evening during term time from 7.00 to 9.00 pm and offers cricket, table tennis, pool, karaoke, a craft table and tuck shop. Other activities include discos, theme nights, sports and dancing sessions with professional trainers. Youth provision is crucial to creating a sustainable community and Youth Clubs are a valuable asset in today’s society.
The Club invites all children starting Year 6 at the Island School or who live on the Island to become Members and meets most Friday evenings at the Community Centre between 7 pm and 9 pm during term-time. The club currently has a membership of almost 60 children, between the ages of 10 and 13 years and has 30 volunteers who each try and attend one Friday night a month and more if they feel able. Just go along and see what’s on offer. Parental Consent forms are required after the first attendance.
The Club is run by a small number of CRB checked volunteers of all ages and always seeking further volunteers. If you would like to give something back to the community, please call David Taylor on 893447. This is one of the few Youth Clubs in Medway providing young people with an invaluable ‘Youth Club experience.’
The Youth Club is dependent on getting enough regular volunteers who can give one Friday night a month from 6.30 pm to 9.15 pm to add to the existing volunteer list. With new volunteers and a new Club Leader, Rodney Parr, the Club re-opened on the 16th September 2016. Rodney is committed to maintaining the success of the Club for the immediate future and beyond. A “Street Dance” evening and a Shoe Box Appeal, through Medway Sunlight Rotary, for “Children in Need” took place in November 2016. More recent events include Nerf Gun Wars, Circus Skills and Cheerleading and a lot more is planned for the future. Since the Club has re-opened it has raised almost £100 for Children in Need and more recently over £120 for Red Nose Day. If you would like to try a taster session then you can go along on one of the dates below; you would be most welcome.
In addition to financial assistance from the Trust, the Club has received funding from Ward Councillors and a grant from “Street Cops” fund through the local PCSO.
Volunteers are required to help to set-up equipment and keep a watching brief or they can get involved if they wish. If you can give some time to support the Club please call David Taylor on 01634 893447 or email .
Nerf Gun Wars
The Club’s Nerf Gun War evenings have been great fun and plenty more is planned for the future, i.e. volleyball sessions, Zumba and street dance.
On the 23rd March 2018 the Youth Club focused on raising funds for Sport Relief / Red Nose Day and made a total of £213.17 which went towards various projects tackling important social issues.
Members are reminded to take their Membership Cards with them on every visit as the Club is now charging for the issue of new ones. The sooner the formal process is completed the sooner the fun can start. If you don’t have your card with you then you may be refused entry to the Club. This is the only proof of who you are and the fact that you have a card tells the Club that you have received, agreed and signed up to the Club Rules and Codes of Behaviour. Members are reminded that when they joined the Club they signed up to the Club Rules and are asked to adhere to these so that everyone has a good Club experience. Members should demonstrate courtesy, respect and friendship to their fellow Members and to volunteers. Members are also reminded of the rules re the use of mobile phones at the Club; this was made clear when signing up for membership.
On Friday 23rd November 2018 the Club’s focus was raising monies for ‘Children in Need’ and the Club raised a total of £300.08 which surpassed last year’s total of £228.40. Congratulations to all those involved.
The Youth Club was represented at the Community Centre Christmas Fair on Saturday 24th November where they sold sweets and drinks from the Tuck Shop and as a consequence were able to donate £40 to the Salvation Army Christmas Present Appeal. This funds buying and gving of new Christmas presents to children of all ages who otherwise may not receive any presents this Christmas.
The founder of the Club, David Taylor, Youth Leader, Rodney Parr, and volunteers work hard to deliver a good experience for the young people and it’s always good to get feedback. A resident whose children attend the Youth Club emailed David Taylor to comment “Hi David, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your regular emails regarding the Youth Club. I love that my kids have a safe place to be themselves on a Friday night and also love that they’re getting to experience different things like the line dancing etc. It’s really nice to be able to tell the kids what’s on offer and share their excitement! Thank you to you and all of your team.”
The Youth Club opening dates for the second half of 2019 are as follows:
September: 13th, 20th and 27th
October: 11th and 18th
November: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd. The club meeting on the 15th November focused on Children in Need and the Club raised a total of £270 on the night for this great cause. Once all the monies have been received and submitted the Club will receive an acknowledgement certificate from Children in Need which will be posted inside the cupboard doors in the large hall of the Community Centre. Well done to all involved.
On Friday 22nd November the Club will be welcoming Katie McGarry from The Bindlestick Theatre Company which proved popular with members when she last visited. Members are asked to make her feel welcome and join in her activities.
December: 6th and 13th (last meeting date until 2020). For the meeting on Friday 13th December the Club has organised a special Christmas party for members. The Tuck Shop will be open as usual but the Club will be laying on some Christmas party food and organising fun games and competitions. There will also be disco style party music with a DJ.
Here are a couple of photos taken at the last meeting of the year showing members having fun and getting all wrapped up for Christmas!
If members are unable to attend the last meeting of the year then the Club would like to wish those a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
The Youth Club meets in 2020 on the following dates:
January: 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st
February: 7th, 14th and 28th. At the meeting on Friday 28th there will be normal activities in the Large Hall and in the small Hall, for the whole evening session, the Club has invited an experienced ‘sports coach’ to take Members through a number of different games, exercises and activities. this may involve one-to-one contact. Members who wish to participate should wear trainers or sports shoes. For those Members that do not wish to take part they should advise a Senior Volunteer at the Club.
The Club is investigating possible supervised sessions away from the Community Centre and if there is enough interest will start in April. There will be a limited number of members for each session. These may include the Climbing Wall at Strood Youth Centre and the Water Sports activities at the Watersports Centre at Basin 2; stand-up paddle boarding, sailing and kayaking. For those that do not wish to participate in these sessions the normal activities will be on offer.
March: 6th, 13th and 27th.
On 18th March 2020 the Youth Club Steering Group announced that it is following Government and Public Health England advice in respect of COVID-19. Consequently the Youth Club is closed with immediate effect in order to meet their ‘Duty of Care’ responsibilities. As soon as the Steering Club feels it is safe and responsible to do so the Club will re-open.
April: 3rd and 24th
May: 1st, 8th and 15th
June: 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th
July: 10th and 17th
End of School Year. Further dates to be advised.
News – May 2017
In 2017 St. Mary’s Island Primary School kindly agreed to allow the Club to have access to their playing fields on Friday evenings and this was fantastic and greatly appreciated by all.
In 2017 the Club had an application to ‘the Streetcops Trust’ for funding approved which enabled the purchase a fold away snooker and pool table together with some new electronic games. This was presented to the Club by Alan Parfett from Streetcops Trust on Friday 8th September. The photograph shows Youth Club Secretary, David Taylor, Alan Parfett from Streetcops Trust and Gubs Samrai Youth Club Honorary Treasurer.