Good morning to you all wherever you are – it is a lovely sunny (but nippy) morning here in Larne and we are just taking time out to think back over the goings on in Larne YMCA this week so grab the coffee mug/tea cup and join us…
This is Mental Health Awareness Week and our projects are certainly doing their bit to help children and young people deal with stress, whether that be participating in specific programmes such as Fresh Little Minds or simply providing the chance for them to relax, let of steam, enjoy activities or chat about things that are clogging their minds. It is also about encouraging young people to support one another in difficult times, be that listening ear or sign post to others who can help.
Getting outdoors has been a real theme this week with some of our Autism group spending an active evening in Dixon Park with Ruth and Gillian while others opted to play Frustration or build dens with Leanne back in the YMCA. It is good to be able to give a choice of activities and let the young ones make their own choices – all part of growing up!
Our After Schools group also had plenty of park time this week as they made the most of the brilliant weather in the fantastic surroundings of Dixon Park making use of the open tree fringed space and playground; a chance too for staff to spend time with the children, have a chat beneath a tree or as they potter around. Inventive play was also very much in evidence as some boys displayed an early aptitude for engineering, creating catapult guns with lego and elastic bands – and they did work!!!! Other fun activities this week included royal wedding arts and crafts and an impromptu dressing up session by the boys in the Pool room of all places as they acted out some fantasy game.
For youth club this week the focus is on two Green Outdoors Nights expertly organised by the Senior Committee supported by Adam. What a fantastic outdoors programme – a Ticket Treasure Hunt, Park Run (great preparation for our YMCA World Challenge Run), Skip Challenge, Basketball Challenge, giant rounders and football, Art in the Park (Francesca’s Paper Plate Snakes) and Park Parachutes – whew, what a list! Last night’s session was rounded off by a Soak the Leader vote won (?) by Sam with 22 votes; thanks to him for being such a great sport. Votes are already being cast for tonight’s contest with both Adam and Trevor in the running so far. So there was definitely plenty of fun in the sun but also what a great experience for the Senior Committee members (aged 11-12) who put this together – what talent, energy and commitment they have.
Away from all this fun our Safeguarding Group met to get updates from recent training and Access NI; we’ve also been preparing for GDPR and what needs implemented to ensure we are compliant – thanks to YMCA colleagues for sharing information and expertise on this complex, time consuming subject.
So as the weekend looms we hope that you will make the most of it, whether that be wedding watching, gardening, running or just chilling – enjoy it and remember that we very much appreciate your interest in Larne YMCA. If you are facing an overwhelming to-do list, take a moment to contemplate the wise words of Winnie the Pooh “Rivers know this; there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”