Arts Factory Health & Wellbeing Youth Club was opened in October 2021 due to the increased demand for a youth provision in the Rhondda Fach area. This was a very limited service and we had a large number of young people trying to access our service. Fortunately were able to secure additional funding from the Micro Fund Grant and after consultation with the young people we found that they would prefer it to stay open longer on nights it was already open.
The youth provision has focused on improving young people’s health & wellbeing and improving the opportunities available to the young people in the Rhondda Fach area. The Rhondda Fach is a deprived area but has good community spirit that Arts Factory can work with to improve the opportunities and profile of young people within the area. When our youth club initially opened, we had roughly 15-20 young people attending through the night. However, as word spread our service became more popular and by the start of the funding we had between 40-50 young people were accessing our project. The youth club has grown from strength to strength and has identified a real need for youth provisions in the area. The service is shaped by our young people and we constantly engage them in consultation to improve our provision. We wanted young people to take ownership of the project and have a sense of belonging, a safe space that they could come and speak to people or forget their issues for a few hours. We also asked them to come up with their rules for youth club so that they would know what is and is not acceptable behaviour. We have tackled the issues within our youth club by engaging services that can offer support and advice to the young people.
As a result of the funding were also able to work with a local DJ to help the young people to increase their confidence and self-esteem by being taught radio presenting and DJ skills. These sessions have shown the biggest improvements in our young people who were causing anti-social behaviour. We have been able to engage them in something interesting that has reduced the amount of challenging behaviours for staff. Linking in with the schools, social services and parents has been an excellent way of dealing with issues that the young people have been having. Without the funding we would not have been able to achieve such positive outcomes and engage with so many young people in the area. We are currently looking for funding to continue our sessions as this is a vital service in the Rhondda Fach area. We are exceptionally grateful to PyC for the funding we received as it showed us that there is a real need for the service.