YouCan Community Club have set up a new youth group for those with disabilities or additional needs living in Little Hulton and Walkden.

The new group has been designed specifically for young people between the ages of 11 and 16.

The club have partnered with the Salford Youth Service (SYS), who, according to YouCan have also noticed a need for a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) group in Little Hulton.

Jillian Pollitt, Lead Disability Youth Worker, said that activities will include “arts and crafts, drama, sports, games, pool, chill space and more”.

She said: “Our sessions are youth led, which means that our members can provide their input and opinions and have their say as to what they would like to do.

“We, along with the SYS, are working hard to ensure that young people in Salford with SEND have somewhere where they can go to not only have fun but to also have a safe space where they can socialise, learn new skills in addition to gaining qualifications.”

By providing young people with the opportunity to undertake qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh award, Jillian says the group will “help them with feeling and being more independent”.

“It also provides parents and carers with some much-needed respite which is even more important now we are in the middle of the pandemic,” Jillian added.

YouCan have been operating in Salford since 2014, as an independent charity working with young people aged 10-24 who have disabilities and additional needs.

Speaking of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the club, Jillian said: “The pandemic has affected our young people significantly.

“Due to their vulnerabilities and conditions, the majority of our members have struggled with the changes and had to adapt to life online i.e. Zoom sessions, online schooling etc and have spent more time isolated, which has left them feeling lonely and sad.

“We have also noticed that this has increased their levels of anxiety around returning to the youth club due to the lack of face-to-face interaction and socialisation.”

She added: “To enable the youth clubs to continue and allow our members to attend, we follow the NYA (National Youth Agency) and government guidelines in addition to adhering to strict risk assessments to ensure that all of our members, staff and volunteers are safe.”

The team are currently in the early stages of developing the new club.

The pandemic has added a level of uncertainty as to when it will be able to operate properly, with online sessions being postponed until government guidance allows for the group to meet indoors.

“We are hoping that the circumstances will change very soon and would like to invite any young people who would like to join the group to please get in touch.”

A poster for the new youth club. Image Credit: Jillian Pollitt at YouCan.

For more information and updates about the new group, contact the team email address or phone number mentioned above.

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