The Community Ties Youth Provision at Haxby & Wigginton Youth & Community Association (HWYCA) has provided a safe and fun environment for children and young adults to come and socialise, join an activity and learn new skills among many other things for over 48 years!
Community Ties is based at the Oaken Grove Community Centre off Reid Park in Haxby, but young people also come from Wigginton, New Earswick and Huntington. Everyone is welcome.
The focus is on offering young people and children a place to congregate and be active in their local community through youth groups led by qualified youth workers and volunteers.
Groups specifically focussed on different age ranges means that activities, a chance to talk and stimulation are completely age-appropriate.
The groups are all about informal learning, building trusting relationships and having fun. Some students even go on to help as young leaders.
Young people are also given the chance to get involved in the local community. For example, a group recently helped at Birchlands Care Home, fundraising for a garden and helping out with the planting. And some young people have attended an Oaken Grove pop-in session for older people where there was lots of intergenerational chat and enjoyment.
Tuesday Youth Club, 6:15pm – 7:15pm, Ages 7 to 10, At Oaken Grove Community Centre
This is a brand new group – a place for young people to simply get out of the house, socialise and learn new skills. They work on building friendships and talking about safety and age-appropriate issues but the focus is very much on having fun.
Wednesday Group, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Ages 10 to 14, At Oaken Grove Community Centre.
Activities include crafts, games, sports, cooking, film nights, outings, workshops and chat time to talk about any issues or problems members of the group may have. Mairi, a senior youth worker, runs the group, which is a good mix of boys and girls, with the help of youth workers, a project worker and young leaders. Mairi explains, “Targeted project work means that we can focus on topics that are currently important to our young people, including things like internet safety and staying safe when out and about.”
Tuesday drop-in session, 7:30pm – 9pm, Held at Wigginton Old School for ages 13 to 16
A fun and social group that not only offers activities but a safe place to talk about any issues affecting the lives of the members and ask for advice if needed. Mairi says “As qualified youth workers and project workers, we focus on many deeper issues that are concerning our young people now such as sexual health and can offer advice as well as practical help.”
A thriving organisation
Youth provision at HWYCA has steadily grown throughout the years with more groups, more youth workers (there are now six people employed on a part-time basis) and more areas being covered.
They recently started offering groups in Wigginton as well as Haxby, and plan to keep on expanding – and keep up their invaluable support for young adults in the local community.
They receive funding from local councils and have been awarded lottery funding in the past, but they’re also focused on fundraising initiatives to keep their youth groups running well into the future.
Making a difference in the lives of young people
In addition to their youth groups, the association also run ASDAN courses for anyone aged 13 and over. They’re short ‘step-up’ or ‘add-on’ courses designed for young people to gain an extra qualification to help boost a CV or college/university application. They are currently working with students from Huntington School, developing skills for learning, work and life.
Currently, Community Ties offers courses in sports and volunteering and they have helped a number of young people gain access to further study or get on the career ladder. What’s more, the price for ASDAN courses are kept to a minimum thanks to funding through Awards4All this year.
Community Ties wants to increase their youth provision with more groups and more areas. What’s more, they plan to develop bespoke courses for students with learning and/or physical difficulties and keep running projects that involve the wider community.
If you’d like to volunteer at Oaken Grove or join a youth group, call 01904 769 176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org