Newsletter week ending 09/09/2018

Newsletter week ending 09/09/2018

What a glorious autumn morning here in Larne! Sunshine in a pale blue sky, birdsong (as yet unidentified), hot coffee, some background music (Carlos Santana & Gabriel Faure) and a few moments to chill – what could be better? Well before we get too relaxed and doze off, here’s this week’s news from Larne YMCA…
Tempting aromas wafted around the centre on Monday evening as Ruth organised a Pancake making session for our Autism project – not sure how many eggs were used but there was quite a production line going on before the pancakes were finished with fruit, chocolate spread, lemon juice and sugar (or a mixture of all!). Cooking, even in its simplest form, is a popular activity on a Monday evening, so wondering what is on next week’s menu… Away from the temptations of making and eating one, two or even three pancakes, junk art resulted in some very creative constructions using all manner of scrap material lying around – cardboard tubes, egg cartons, string, paper scraps – great to see young people’s imagination taking shape with such concentration.
After Schools are now  back to being “after school” and we are getting used to a new pick up schedule along with some new faces. We have a good mix of local primary schools represented and it is interesting to watch connections being made at a young age. Plenty of fun this week with a replenished dressing up box (thanks to those who contributed items) resulting in weddings, shop trips, family outings and all manner of drama unfolding before our eyes – it will only be a matter of time before the children decide to have a performance so watch this space! The sports hall was an alternative venue for more energetic activities with Trevor organising team games and keeping an eye on the free play sessions.
Reflecting on the youth club’s summer programme is well underway with a Google survey available on our Facebook page – this is the first year of an online evaluation so hopefully we will get a good level of response as we need to take feedback on board as we plan for the future. Adam’s AQE sessions continue on Wednesday afternoon – this week the group has tackled comprehension, decimals, percentages and fractions as well as trying some past papers. The sessions are a good mix of learning and confidence building as the young people tackle some difficult tasks, familiarise themselves with  the AQE process and discuss their concerns with one another.
We have a new washing line on display in the YMCA this week (no, not dishcloths or socks); it is in fact a Friendship Line put together by young people whose mini t-shirts confirm their connection with one another – a eyecatching and thought provoking display to remind young people of the supportive links they have with one another.
Plenty of school tales being shared over snacks this week as the young people returned to familiar settings or moved to new ones; staff and volunteers have an important listening and support role as experiences and concerned are shared. Junior Leader Kaitlyn has recruited some friends to work on fundraising ideas – ranging from coffee mornings to crowdfunding – great to see such energy and commitment on their part, what examples they are setting!  All these voluntary hours, projects and training are recorded on the Dojo app, ably managed by Adam who gave the Senior Committee a demonstration of it this week showing what is recorded and how it can be useful in the future for job applications, interview preparation, college or training course applications.
Well the kettle is whistling and the ‘to-do’ list looms, so thank you for your interest as ever and best wishes to you all