As our Summer Fun Programme enters its final week, we are thrilled at the high number of young people that have signed up and attended our weekly digital and STEM clubs each week. We are so happy to be welcoming faces old and new for some digital fun and plenty of gaming!
We are happy to have returned to in-person youth work following an extremely challenging time. Paisley YMCA was affected greatly by both the fire that destroyed our William Street building in 2021 and the Covid-19 pandemic. The time during the pandemic meant that our clubs were moved exclusively online via Zoom, which was a hard time for both our youth workers and young people at a time of isolation. We did have some fun times answering Kahoot quizzes, though!
Our new base at 39 High Street is where we have managed to re-establish ourselves and reach out to the community with new resources that we offer to help young people in Paisley. We have received new funding and equipment that we have been able to use to design a Summer Fun Programme this year with the aim of providing young people in Paisley with free, fun and engaging club activity using technology they may not have access to at home or via education.
Our clubs offer a wide variety of digital skills-based learning such as regular coding clubs, helping to develop our Jacquard Loom Game to be displayed in Paisley Museum and make use of our gaming consoles and other youth work resources. For example our recent podcast studio, which allows our young people to make use of professional sound equipment to record their own podcasts talking about what is important to them.
We also have a badge maker and heat press, which we hope to make even more use of in the future as we encourage our young people to design and create their own prints, which can be used to create items such as tote bags, mugs, t-shirts and badges. They can also play more traditional games such as Cluedo or Jenga if they wish. We also provide regular healthy snacks and plenty to juice to keep hydrated in this very warm weather!
When asked their favourite club of the programme, one of our young people said; “The podcast club, I like talking about just anything,” and continued when asked why they came to Paisley YMCA every week of summer “I like to get out, I don’t like sitting in the house all the time and I don’t like going out that much, but I like coming here. This is part of my routine.”
Another young person, who also had their favourite clubs, cited our Summer Programme as a great way to find some activity and fun, as opposed to staying at home; “I have really enjoyed the summer programme so far. I think my favourite bit of it is Wednesday and Friday because we’re doing a project but at some point, we can also just do our own thing. And on Friday we get to just play about and play games.
“I want to go to YMCA because I like seeing my friends and also, it’s actually something to do instead of just sitting around the house. I go every Friday. I’ve made new friends, it’s definitely nice to come in and feel like you’re not going to be judged.”
Our Summer success marks an important milestone for us, after setbacks and hardship in the events of the past few years. Times may have been tough, but we have persevered! We are so grateful for our incredible team of staff, trustees and volunteers. And most importantly we are grateful the young people themselves for showing up interested and excited each week, we love getting to be a part of their journey into the amazing adults they will no doubt become. Whether they are regular faces or new, we are proud of every one of them!
Our Summer Programme will end next week and we will return to our weekly club activities in the evenings and weekends. With the popularity of our in-person coding club and our museum project, we will continue these clubs in the evenings once schools’ return. All information about our club activity can be found on our Eventbrite page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch this space because while summer may be ending, we have lots of more exciting projects coming!