NE Youth’s Fenham Youth Club is a dynamic partnership with Children North East. This transformative initiative, aimed at nurturing the potential of local young people, is thriving after receiving an award from the David Dockray West End Young People’s Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. This collaborative effort ensures that the new youth club is well-equipped to make a significant impact on the lives of young people in the community. To date, this project has supported over 200 young people, offering them a safe and supportive environment to access support and positive opportunities.

The roots of the David Dockray House run deep in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne. For many years, it was a symbol of hope and opportunity for the city’s young people. Originally known as the West End Boys Club, the establishment underwent a huge transformation, culminating in the creation of the David Dockray House. Throughout its storied history, the house was a place of mentorship, guidance and inspiration for countless young people up until its closure in 2006.

Jon Niblo, the CEO at NE Youth, expressed his pride and enthusiasm for the Fenham Youth Club and the collaborative partnership with Children North East. He stated,

“Having previously been co-located for many years in the former West End Boys Club/Dockray House, we have always had an affinity with the Fenham area. We were proud to be given the opportunity to create a youth work offer by the Fund and are delighted with the outcomes and progress to date. Our partnership with Children North East has been instrumental in making this initiative a resounding success.”

Leigh Elliott, Chief Executive at Children North East, shared,

“The Fenham Youth Club plays an important role in giving many young people a space to feel safe, develop their skills and resilience, whilst building a supportive community. This collaboration with NE Youth and the fund has been transformative for many young people and demonstrates why youth work is a powerful tool for supporting children and young people to grow up healthy and happy. We are delighted to be partnered on this project with NE Youth, which has made an important contribution to young lives in our region for over 85 years.”

Some quotes from the young people who attend the youth club include:

“It’s a fun place to be and I get to spend time with people.”
“It’s really fun”.
“I really enjoy these sessions because it gives me something to do, I don’t really do much during the week because I’m home schooled.”

Pete Barrett, Senior Programme Advisor at the Community Foundation said:

“The Community Foundation is very pleased to see the progress which has already been made at the Fenham Youth Club, this project fills a gap in open access youth provision in the area, giving the young people a safe place to go to be themselves, have fun and access support if, or when they need it.
“Funding from the David Dockray West End Young People’s Fund to support the partnership of NE Youth and Children North East has allowed the Club to open, and gives it a firm foothold in the area and furthers our aim of making longer-term strategic grant awards to maximise impact for the young people”.

The Fenham Youth Club has proven to be a lifeline for the young people in the community. Currently running twice a week, the club operates on Friday evenings with youth workers in and around the neighbourhood, fostering positive interactions and building relationships with young people wherever they feel most comfortable. On Monday evenings, the youth club is based in St James’ & St Basil’s Community Hall, providing a dedicated space for engaging activities, one to one support and group sessions.

Since its inception in April 2023, the Fenham Youth Club has already engaged with over 200 young people, offering them a range of activities, workshops and support services. From recreational sports and creative arts to mentoring sessions and educational assistance, the club seeks to address the diverse needs and aspirations of its participants. The collaboration between NE Youth and Children North East has facilitated the implementation of comprehensive and impactful programs, ensuring the club’s ability to support and empower the local youth effectively.

The collaborative partnership between NE Youth and Children North East has been instrumental in creating a positive and nurturing space for young people to explore their potential and develop essential life skills. The support provided by the David Dockray West End Young People’s fund at the Community Foundation, combined with the expertise and dedication of both organisations, has set the stage for an impactful and sustainable initiative that will continue to benefit the community for years to come.

The week of the 6th November to the 12th November 2023 is Youth Work Week, a week celebrating the positive impact of youth work across the Country. For more information, please head to the National Youth Agency’s website here.