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Keeping kids active and empowered: the RJ4All Community Centre celebrates its largest holiday youth club to date

This February 2023 the RJ4All Community Centre, run by the RJ4All International Institute, held its free half term youth club to a resounding success. Attended by more than 25 young people local to SE16 and surrounding boroughs, the club offered a fun, interactive and instructive resource to encourage positive social interactions amongst young people deemed by others as “vulnerable” or “at risk”.

Having run Monday to Friday from 9:30-16:00, the Youth Club forms a part of RJ4All’s Youth EmPOWERed project, delivered through the innovative Youth Justice Sports Fund by the Ministry of Justice and supported by StreetGames. Following RJ4All’s ethos underlining the need for a holistic approach to address community cohesion issues while improving wellbeing, the project and its Youth Club aligns with the organisation’s long-term vision of building the first restorative justice postcode in the world.

“We’re delighted to be able to provide such a great Youth Club at zero cost for local families and their children thanks to the Youth Justice Sports Fund. We’ve had a great turnout and the kids have been very enthusiastic, embracing the focus on sports throughout the week. We’ve also had some parents and relatives coming by, and that’s what our Community Centre is all about. We want to be giving to our community while equally building an open-hearted and dynamic space, where everyone is welcome and able to participate. This week also wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our funders and local supporters. The children truly loved their lunch boxes! We’re really hoping we’ll have the ability to run this again in Easter for the next school break.”

– Anna Fosse-Galtier, RJ4All Community Centre Manager

Thanks to the Youth Justice Sports Fund, the Youth Club built on the project’s weekly sessions by providing a tight agenda packed full of fitness and mentoring activities and more, to maximise the contact time available for these young people and increase the project’s overall impact.

The week saw young people aged between 8 and 15 participate in a combination of sports activities complemented by mentoring, team building, and creative and educational workshops. From boxing training sessions to workshops on understanding how to manage emotions, football games to arts and crafts, restorative justice sharing circles to walks around Greenland dock; no stone was left unturned at RJ4All’s Community Centre, just off Plough Way.

“At StreetGames we believe that community sport, delivered in the right way, can have a transformational impact on children’s lives and the communities they live in. … This investment in sport will support voluntary and community sports organisations to carry out targeted work to enhance positive outcomes for vulnerable children, providing the practical and emotional support they need to grow and helping to keep them and their communities safe.”

– Stuart Felce, StreetGames Director of Sport and Community Safety

Young people ended the week expressing increased confidence, having learned new skills, discovered more about themselves and made new friends.

Thanks to generous support from local Leigh Catering, the young people were served free, healthy, hot meals every lunchtime, while RJ4All’s long-standing partnership with FareShare meant all attendees could start the day with a free breakfast.[1]

“Thank you so much, they’re so happy to be there. I really want to thank you again for your kindness and I appreciate the staff for making such an enjoyable time for everyone.”

– Father of 2 children attending RJ4All Youth Club February half term 2023

Follow-up of the youth club is already underway, with continued and increased engagement in weekly activities including “Boxing & Fitness” Tuesdays, “Football & Film” Thursdays, and “Sailing Sundays”, alongside individual personal development and mentoring sessions delivered by RJ4All’s qualified team.

Ends.


[1]
 Underlying the organisation’s delivery of free youth clubs, including breakfast, lunch and refreshments for the young people, is its commitment to essential support for parents and carers, who must meet increased costs over school holidays to cover food, electricity and childcare. 

Notes to editors:

  • RJ4All welcomes new registrations to its current activities. For After School Clubs (Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:30-5:30pm), we ask that parents/carers contact us in advance to let us know how many young people to expect; however, they are more than welcome to just drop in. For Sunday Sailing (10am-12 midday or 1pm-3pm), we would require a booking in advance. 
  • RJ4All will be holding an Easter Youth Club between 3rd-6th April 2023; get in touch now to register initial interest.
  • We can be contacted at: admin@rj4all.org and +447708758600 for all enquiries and bookings. 
  • February Half Term Youth Club and RJ4All’s Youth Empowered Project
  • RJ4All Sports 
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