Welcome to the Summer Edition of our Newsletter which features our Devas Music Academy studio - with state-of-the-art facilities - that has done so much to make music and singing such an integral part of the Devas offer. Our energetic music teacher, Ian Clarke, is keen to see the music studio even better used - beyond the current three days a week. The music team is also keen to explore offering music as therapy. Our Juniors programme with now 25 youngsters up to the age of 10 years attending regularly, is another area of the Club that is growing, with a wide range of crafts, sports and other activities. These are signs of a Club going forward. We also record our annual visit to Oxford, for our football matches always much enjoyed by one and all. Finally, trustees held a goodbye dinner for former trustee John Clarke.
The trustees are mindful that thus need to focus on bringing in additional funds with our developing lettings programme. More information on Lettings will go up on the website. We are also appealing to friends and supporters to whom we remain very grateful, to consider a legacy. We will share details with you shortly.
The Club has recently completed a
supported programme to change all its lighting across the three floors of
the building to comply with new energy efficiency
guidelines. This is an important part of the Green Action Plan, unveiled
by Trustee Johnny Devas last autumn. The work will be undertaken
by CREW, paid for with a special grant. "This will improve energy
efficiency at the club, and save us in bills
over the coming years," explained Johnny. The programme, which could begin
later this year, will also include a new automated heating management
The Club's juniors programme is expanding, now with some
25 juniors, up from just eight last year, regularly attending and utilising
a wide range of activities during the first three days of the
week - sports, games, arts and crafts,
and transitions, while football is the main focus for
Wednesdays. The plan for Summer term is to focus on the fact that drama
has now started. Four staff - two part-time and two concession workers -
look after the programme, led by Daniella Fetuga-Joensuu. "Devas is
trying to reach out especially to deprived groups who can benefit from our
services. More so now than ever before, this service is needed," says
Daniella. "Wandsworth is a mixed area, and it is sometimes a struggle to
reach our clients because they are sometimes difficult to identify."
Devas now plans to extend its outreach work with local schools over the
coming months. Support for extending the Junior programme is a
Fourteen members of the youth club received awards on the
night, plus a leader award for one of the youth club workers. The award
winners are, Darren Pase-Walters, Sybil Sewornoo, Tishayne Flemings, Abdul
Rahim Abubakari, Nathan Keseka, Jeriah Johnson, Divine Obijiaku, Kaydena
Devas trustees pictured at the annual football match at the University College grounds in Oxford during half time on a rainy afternoon. From left Paul Flather; Johnny Devas; Mark Potter; Charles Dorin; Jenny Borden and Ivor Crewe. A board meeting was held after the matches.
For more pictures please visit our picture gallery here
The continuing Brexit debates raise critical questions about our relations with Europe - but Devas has a long held interest in international exchanges. Some 30 years ago, for example, in 1988-89, first 10 youth workers from the Pas de Calais region of France arrived to exchange ideas and practices with their counterparts at the Club. This was soon followed by two Polish youth workers invited by the then Chair of the Inner London Education Authority, Tony Powell, who along with his ILEA colleague, local member, Paul Flather (who had by then joined the Club board) were responsible for London youth services. Next came a visit of school children from the Zakladni Skola, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, which led to visits with Club members to Southfields School, Hampton Court, and County Hall for a reception, and an evening at Devas mixing with local members. Such international exchanges serve to enrich the experiences of Club workers and members.
Music is a significant offer at Devas. Many past
members have benefitted from the expert guidance and encouragement, as
well as the great facilities at the Club. Over 20 years with members exploring different aspects of
music production and engineering. "Some have cut discs and gained the kind
of practical experience that leads onto further studies, or even a career
in music. But others may just be curious to see how a music studio works
or enjoy a break from the other pressures of day-to-day life" explains,
Ian, who heads up the The Devas music academy. Ian is on hand, supported by
a talented group of youth workers with backgrounds in music, for several
sessions a week and is keen to expand the offer to members and others in
the community if additional support can be found. They offer music
teaching which covers the whole production process from writing lyrics to
voice coaching and learning an instrument, and from performing and
recording to production.
The Club's driving theory test project - coming into its fifth round - is now well established and last year four more young people successfully passed their DVLA tests. This year there are eight members taking the theory, which has been led by Mark Coyle on Wednesday evenings - with two already having passed their exams. The Club is currently seeking a replacement for Mark but funding is secure to continue this activity and to include driving in the summer. Meanwhile members have also enjoyed other forms of driving experience - with quad biking, driving on the water with oars (rowing !) and even 4x4 Land Rover experience all as part of the Coldstream Guards activities held on the Thames.
Wandsworth chiefs chat with Club members: