Devas Club reaches out to distancing young people

The club and its partners are offering online activities for young people in dance, fitness, music and yoga. This is to help keep them engaged during life in lockdown.

Schools are closed and physical exercise is only possible with family members. Devas Club is offering these sessions in hip-hop dancing, intensity fitness training and yoga to improve the wellbeing of young people.

Youth clubs help to keep young people busy and engaged – and off the streets where so many dangers lurk. Now the streets are off limits, we decided to do our bit to reach out to young people, to keep them engaged even though they are stuck at home,” explained Mark Clay, who is Senior Youth Worker based at the club.

The weekly sessions include: Yoga on Monday, fitness sessions on Wednesday, and dance sessions running on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. We also have a young artist music support group who also get together for a couple of hours via WhatsApp.

We have offered such a range of activities from our multi-purpose building in Stormont Road since 1970. Once it was boxing and archery, now it is driving skills, muay thai and music making. We were just not comfortable with interrupting our service,” added Mark Clay.

Feedback has been positive. Members of the music group have been saying how much they miss their regular visits to the Devas studios and spending time with their pals. “Can’t wait to come back’” said one. “So good to keep in touch,” said another.

A parent rang in to express their gratitude. ‘I am very happy that you guys have managed to find a way to stay in touch with young people, so many of whom may be feeling down at the moment. I’m particularly thankful that you are still able to support my child who has been missing Devas during lockdown.”

The hope is that after lock-down is eased, those ‘hooked’ on the online activities will be keener to return the Club, or newcomers will, in person, want to visit the Club – which has been running activities and providing opportunities for young people aged 8-19 years old, sometimes for those up to the age of 25, from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We know how important it is to keep young people active, engaged and inspired,” said Andrew Griffith, chair of Trustees.  “For this reason, it made perfect sense to us to launch our own calendar of virtual activities for young people and their families during these times.”

The Club’s mission is providing opportunities for young people. The schedule of online activities maintains that sense of purpose, to help young people stay active, creative and inspired.

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View the live events calendar at www.devasclub.org/whats-on

For more information, or if you would like to get involved please send an email to info@devasclub.org

For more information our Administrator Tony Brown on admin@devasclub.org or 0207 223 0297.