Estate-based junior youth group
The Four Groves estate sits within Risedale ward in Barrow-in-Furness, one of the top 5% most deprived wards in the country. In 2001, Pauline Charnley moved from running community activities from her living room to establishing a base in the downstairs of a mid-terrace house on the estate – and so began the Four Groves Community Centre. The youth project came along two years later with an initial focus on excluded young people. Adapting to changes in funding and responding to local need, youthwork leader Wendy Phizacklea has recently focused her team on supporting 8-12 year olds.
An attendee’s carer rang to say ‘that we were working wonders with her child as his attitude was changing towards her at home, he was more engaging and respectful and happier in himself’ and she put this down to our input with the young male and that we are in regular contact with the other agencies which support the young person. When we spoke to the young person about this and asked him what things had changed for him he said ‘you act like you care for me and you give me ideas about making choices instead of telling me what I have to do. I have really got some one to talk to who won’t hate me, you make me think about me and what I can do that’s good’.
Coming to youth club means that I don’t have to look after my little sister and can have fun with my friends for a bit. We went to the Abbey and saw monks and had a picnic and played games. Our youth workers are nice and talk to us all the time and smile all the time. There are lots of people in our club and bullying is not allowed ever, which is good. If I never came here I would have to stay at home with my sister and brothers who always fight and shout.
At youth club I play on a WII and play matching cards. I liked the time we made Christmas cards with pictures of us on them. Wendy and Nikki took a pic with a camera and then we got to choose which one we liked and print it off in the office and then put it on a card for our mams and dads or nannas – my card was the best. In club I get to talk my friends and play games and get drinks and we don’t pay. My best thing is to make a tent and see who to save from the cold by sharing my tent space.
The Four Groves Youth Club is a place to get help with homework and things that worry us. We do art and play games and build tents. We have sports days and sleepovers – the best. We talk to Wendy and Nikki and Rob and have toast and hot chocolate, which is good cos I sometimes miss my tea if my mam is out.