‘Get Back Clubbing - Join A Youth Club!’
An expo at Columb Barracks on Saturday served as a taster and a learner event for Youth Work Ireland Midlands (YWIM), as they are planning to hold more of them, including in some of the smaller towns and villages across Westmeath.
Eileen McArdle is Rural Clubs and Volunteer co-ordinator with YWIM and she organised the event with Gerard Keena, who runs CoderDojo Mullingar and also volunteers with the Mullingar Charity Variety Group. Gerard is also a board member of YWIM, and it was from working on those various commitments that the idea to hold a showcase event for youth activities was born.
The Columb Barracks event was called ‘Get Back Clubbing – Join A Youth Club!’, and the plan is to get things moving as we come out of the pandemic restrictions, Gerard told the Westmeath Examiner: “We want to get clubs going again, so there are two things – to let everyone know what clubs are available in Mullingar, and for the clubs to enrol people. It’s also to try to get a bit of a buzz and noise going again, to get a bit of momentum started again.”
Eileen said the Mullingar expo was a response to the widespread closures of youth clubs of all sorts, and it was open to any youth or community group. Planning for the event began three months ago, and the organisers were hoping that Covid restrictions would have eased more by now; they were pleased with how the day went, however, and look forward to organising more similar fairs, probably in Rochfortbridge and Ballymore, as well as Athlone.
If you would like to find out more about the ‘Get Back Clubbing – Join A Youth Club!, there is information on the Youth Work Ireland Midlands Facebook page; or contact Eileen McArdle on 086 3294763; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or Faustina Monaghan on 087 2727867; email email@example.com.