Weeks of free activities begin at Frenford Youth Club
- Credit: Ken Mears
An initiative to offer five free weeks of activities has started at Frenford Youth Club.
Launched on Monday (March 29), young people will be allowed to attend two free sessions per week at the Ilford facility until May 2, including fitness classes with local mixed martial arts fighter Khalid Ismail.
The club's operations manager Irfan Shah, who was delighted that 148 young people showed up on Monday, told the Recorder: "The main aim of what we’re trying to achieve here is to get young people back into recreational activities. We understand it’s difficult out there.
"Covid has played a huge part in people’s distress and unease, so it was upon us to use our resources – mainly our facility, but also our coaches, youth workers and support staff – to help young people as much as possible.”
This initiative has been possible because of an existing grant from the Young Londoners Fund - part of the Mayor’s Fund for London - and a £6840 grant from financial services firm Carne Group.
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Group spokesman Rakesh Patel said: “We are delighted to be able to support the wonderful work that Frenford Clubs does for young people in local communities. The services provided play a vital role in the wellbeing of young people, encouraging inclusivity and belonging."
Thankful for both sets of funding, Irfan said the money has allowed the club to "create a buffer for parents" to bring their children back to it.
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The club has also launched an outreach football project to run out of Loxford Leisure Centre.
It will initially offer free football to everyone for five weeks, after which the programme will be targeted to the Loxford ward area.
Irfan also revealed the club is set to employ four young people through the government's Kickstart Scheme, designed for 16-24-year-olds on universal credit.
They will be employed for six months across three roles: a duty officer (office based), a fundraiser assistant, and two sports coaches.
The aim is to keep providing young people with opportunities "because that's what a youth club should do," said Irfan.
To book free activities until May 2, visit frenfordclubs.org/activity-bookings
For further information, visit @Frenford_Clubs on Twitter.