St Mary's Island Youth Club
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nerf Gun Wars
The Club recently held a Nerf Gun Wars evening which was great fun and plenty more is planned for the future. A volleyball session proved very popular and it is hoped that this will be repeated again in the future.
The Club will open in 2018 on the following dates:
- January: 12th, 19th and 26th
- February: 2nd, 9th and 23rd
- March: 2nd, 9th, 16th (Dodge Ball & Lacrosse) & 23rd (Red Nose Day/Comic Relief with special activities and competitions)
- April: 13th, 20th (Cheerleading and reduced normal activities) and 27th
- May: 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th – on the 11th the Club will be holding the Nerf Gun Wars so not to be missed!
- June: 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th
- July: 6th and 13th
- September: 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th
- October: 5th, 12th and 19th
- November: 2nd (Zumba session), 9th (Street Dance session), 16th (focus will be on raising money for ‘Children in Need’), 23rd and 30th
- December: 14th (Christmas Party)
On the 23rd March the Youth Club focused on raising funds for Sport Relief / Red Nose Day. The Club raised funds by:
- donating the entrance money on the evening
- donating the income from the Tuck Shop
- collected donations for this cause
- collection bucket for parents to make a personal donation
The Club (Members, Parents and Volunteers) raised a total of £213.17 which will go towards amazing projects in the UK and around the world, tackling important social issues. Congratulations to all those involved.
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.
The Steering Group is looking to organise a number of special events such as ‘Street Dance’, ‘Nerf Gun Wars’ which proved very popular last year and ‘Dodge Ball’.
On Friday 13th July the Youth Club met for the last time before the summer break and invited all current Year 5 children attending St. Mary’s Island School or living on St. Mary’s Island to go along to the Club for a ‘Taster – Evening’ to discover and experience the Island Youth Club. At the end of the evening those interested in joining the Club were given a Joining Pack to take home for their parents to study and complete. For those wishing to join, they need to take the Joining Pack with them, signed by their parents, when the Club re-opens on 7th September. The pack contains the Club Rules and these must be read and signed and returned with the Pack. Upon receipt of the fully signed ‘Joining Pack’ the Club will issue a Club Membership Card making you a fully fledged member of Island Castaways.
The Club looks forward to gaining new members in September 2018 as well as retaining existing members. The Club re-opens on Friday 7th September 2018. When the club re-opens it also has acquired some new equipment and games such as darts, air hockey and table football so lots more to enjoy.
At the Club meeting on Friday 5th October they have organized something a bit special for members. Normal activities will be going on in the Large Hall, the Club has arranged for a team of professional handlers from Zoo to You Kent which is an exotic animal encounter company which focuses on providing an interactive, educational and inspirational experience with professionals. This is a special one off event not to be missed.
On Friday 2nd November there will be a Zumba session in addition to the normal activities and on the 9th November the Club will be holding a ‘Street Dance’ session with an instructor.
On Friday 23rd November the Club’s focus was raising monies for ‘Children in Need’. All the entrance fees and monies from the Tuck Shop that evening were donated to this good cause 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 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 will open on Friday 30th November but will be closed on Friday 7th December. Friday 14th December is the Club’s Christmas Party night – the Steering Group and particularly the young volunteers have been working hard to ensure that it is a lot of fun and not to be missed!
The Youth Club opening dates for the first half of 2019 are as follows:
January: 11th, 18th and 25th
February: 1st, 8th and 15th
March: 1st, 5th, 22nd and 29th
April: 5th and 26th
May: 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th
June: 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th
July: 12th and 19th
The Club will not open on the 8th March and 5th July as it will clash with the School Disco.
At the meeting on Friday 1st February the Youth Club will be trailing a new arrangement with the Tuck Shop. When members visit the Tuck Shop they will be able to purchase vouchers up to a maximum of £2.00 the amount that is recommended in the Club’s ‘Joining Letter’. The vouchers will enable members to purchase as much or as little on the might to a maximum of £2.00 and any vouchers that are not spent an be taken home and used again the next time they visit the Youth Club. The club will not be keeping a record of what is carried over so it is up to members to manage their expenditure from visit to visit. It would be helpful if members could take along the correct money for both registration (£2) and the Tuck Shop Vouchers (£2). Note: There is no obligation for members to purchase any vouchers if they do not wish to. This is a trial so tweaks may be necessary.
The Youth Club is also doing its bit to improve the health of its members; to cut down the sugar intake of members the Club will be offering ‘sugar free’ drinks from now on.
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.