Cornstore Youth Club, Draperstown received an Awards for All grant of £3,650 to offer a range of activities and classes to young people in the area. The club provides a safe place for young people and positive activities and events for them including skills such as first aid classes, fitness training, dance, arts and crafts to help to build young people’s confidence and self-esteem. It is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants roll out of to across Northern Ireland including £38,039 to five groups in the Magherafelt area. (See full list of awards)
The club runs four nights per week, for young people aged 8 to 25 years of age. Michelle Belaid, Leader of the group has worked with the young people of the area for fifteen years and after they decided on the courses they wanted to participate in.
The grant will cover a range of activities for the different age groups including cookery, cheer dance, parkour, art, archery, circuits classes and visiting Greenvale Leisure Centre in Magherafelt.
“Michelle said: “The young people I work with live in rural areas and would not otherwise be able to avail of these courses in their local area. We are having a fabulous time in Draperstown at the Cornstore Youth Club. We are dancing the night away on a Wednesday night with cheer dance. The tutor runs a fantastic class. She motivates the young people and everyone seems to have a lot of fun.”
Nadine is a young girl who attends the youth club and she said the courses are really fun and entertaining. Her confidence has developed since joining the club and she is now more outgoing and able to chat to others.
“I enjoy the club lots because it means I can talk to my friends because we don’t get a lot of time to talk to my friends at school,” said Nadine. “I meet with people from different schools and talk about the differences . I get to spend time with my friends Alainn and Elenna. They both attend different schools to me. I would never have had the chance to attend the interactive room in the leisure centre before visiting it with youth club. It is fun and you are exhausted when you come home. It gives me a chance to talk and hang out with my friends. And now I am more confident talking to people I don’t know. It motivates me to do my homework too, so I can attend youth club afterwards.”
The group meets on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening for three hours. If interested contact Michelle Belaid 02879628377.
Other Magherafelt area projects
Conradh na Gaeilge Charn Tóchair promotes the Irish language in the Carntogher area outside Maghera and beyond. They are using the £9,554 grant to establish a parent and toddler group with the purchase of equipment along with parent classes such as baby yoga and massage.
Maghera Historical Society, a newly formed organisation is working with local community groups to encourage cohesion through an appreciation of their shared past. They are using the £10,000 grant for a cross community historical resource centre and forum for discussion that will increase mutual understanding.
St Brigid’s Primary School in Magherafelt is using the £10,000 grant for a project to help the increasing numbers of children starting the school with social, emotional, speech, language and behavioural difficulties, through the development of a nurture unit.
Tobermore Community Projects provides classes, training, workshops and outings for residents in the Tobermore area of Magherafelt. They are using the £4,835 grant to run a series of events to celebrate their 25th anniversary, including Lazer Tag, magic shows and games for the young people, intergenerational concerts and Big Breakfast events.