More than 100 members join Saintfield Youth Club

More than 100 members join Saintfield Youth Club

6 December 2023

SAINTFIELD’s new Youth Club has been a roaring success since its launch.

Based at the Belfast Road community centre, the cross-community club already has 120 members who attend two sessions on Saturdays.

Youth Club co-ordinator, Brendan Burns, is delighted with the club’s success and revealed while those who run the facility had heard on the grapevine about parent chats at the school gates about the enthusiastic response to the first non-denominational youth club in the town since before COVID, “nothing could have prepared us for the huge support we received on registration night”. 

Brendan said the club is split into junior sessions that include P1 to P5 pupils 5, with the senior session catering for children from P6 to Year 10.

In the latest edition of Saintfield News, Brendan revealed that registration night ended with more than 60 members registered for both Saturday sessions, with a substantial waiting list for the junior session which he described as a “tremendous start”.

He said parents were introduced to the Spond app which allows them to register their young people for each weekend, with the club engaging an average of around 50 members each week for both sessions. 

“Our sessions have taken advantage of the fantastic facilities at the community centre,” Brendan continued. 

“The main hall hosts the crafting tables and the board games along with air hockey and fusball. We have badminton and basketball under the canopy and football, dodgeball and other wide games in the 3G pitch. 

“Our studio is where our sensory room has been created and we aim to cater for as many needs within our young community.”

The Youth Club has applied for a grant from the Newry, Mourne and Down Council and with the guidance of Learning Space in Belfast, has created a space that caters for any child who requires somewhere that helps them regulate their feelings to the environment. 

“It is a calming room with audio, visual, proprioceptory and olfactory stimuli providing as many different regulatory processes as we can cram into a single room. 

“The bean bags and dark tent offer quiet relaxing opportunities for small groups to come in and relax,” Brendan explained.

“The first half term has been a resounding success, with repeated attendance our measuring stick. But this would not be possible without the support of our volunteer leaders.”

Brendan said the club currently has a team of 12 leaders, who offer their time and support generously.

“We are hugely grateful for all their efforts and I would like to mention our youth leaders. These vibrant young people, whether they realise it or not, are role models for the younger people in the club and their dedication to coming on a Saturday night should rightly be commended,” he said.

“The club members have had the benefit of all the leaders’ enthusiasm through their love of craft, sport and just being a friendly face in a safe environment for a Saturday night.” 

Brendan also commended the tireless efforts of Emma Duncan, the Saintfield Community Association’s community engagement officer.

“Without her, the youth club just would not run as smoothly as it does,” he said.

Mental wellbeing programmes have been funded by a grant from the Public Health Agency with future plans including the provision of a pool table and table tennis table.

Brendan added: “I look forward to seeing all the kids every Saturday and long may it continue. Thank you so much for all your support. The more help we get, the more we can guarantee the sustainability of our youth club.”

Anyone willing to help out is asked to get in touch via to express an interest.