The Youth Service provides ‘Somewhere to go, Something to do, and Someone to talk to’ for young people aged 8 to 18, or up to aged 25 if completing the Duke of Edinburgh award. Junior clubs cater for those in school year 4 to 6, youth clubs are for those in years 7 to 9, and senior projects for those in year 9 and above. Some of the specialist provision will cater for younger members and their families. The service sits within the Department of Education Sport and Culture and operates under the Manx Youth and Sport division.
There are 24 different venues which include 6 purpose-built centres, designated rooms within schools, community halls, and an Outdoor Learning centre with hostel accommodation. These projects are open over 7 days per week offering 60 youth work sessions and up to 10pm on certain evenings. The service also has detached youth workers on the streets in Douglas and Castletown on Friday’s evenings.
In addition to the community-based clubs and projects the Youth Service offers a range of bespoke learning programmes to young people. These are the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, a young volunteers programme, and an AQA awards based programme supported by some schools. Across the schools and independent groups there can be up to 800 young people engaged in a Duke of Edinburgh award at any one time.
Holiday Clubs During school holidays the service will arrange a series of venues that offer activities for young people. At each of the youth hubs the target is to be open for 5 weeks per year to allow young people somewhere to go, something to do, and someone to talk to, during the school breaks.
Outdoor Learning is delivered at the Outdoor Learning Centre (OLC), which is based near Injebreck reservoir. It boasts a residential centre with 22 beds, separate classroom facilities and grounds with a range of facilities including an assault course, a low ropes course, group work problem solving and camping facilities. The centre has developed an offer for all primary school aged children and will support teachers and youth workers in the delivery of outdoor learning.
Café Laare and Kenyons are café/meeting spaces that offer young people a relaxed space where they can meet with friends and access youth work support as and when required. These venues are aimed at teenagers and are situated in Douglas and Onchan.
LGBT+ A range of closed club sessions are now operating in each of the youth hubs across the island. Support is offered within schools to young people via a youth worker contact, and an annual youth pride event takes place.
The Motor Project is a charity supported by the Youth Service, this project runs from Hills Meadows and is for young people who want to learn about basic car maintenance. An accredited course is delivered over evening sessions by 2 trained youth workers, in addition schools can access the service through the day for those not engaged with formal education.
Training, advice and guidance is available for anyone wishing to start a youth group or activity. The latest survey of young people aged 11 to 18 showed that 70% were involved in positive activities in the evenings and at weekends. This is possible because our community is fortunate to have an army of adults willing to dedicate their time to providing exciting opportunities for our young people.