; Communication

You might want to consider how your group communicates with its members and the wider community. For example, think about communication in relation to:

  • With other groups using the building - problems with equipment, the premises or how another group leaves the space can be frustrating and potentially dangerous if there is no system in place to report them
  • With young people themselves - do some young people miss out on activities if they weren't there the week before to hear about it?
  • With Parents/Guardians -do parents know who runs the club, how it's managed and how they can get involved? Are communications home a garbled, verbal message, a scrap of paper or a regular newsletter or e-bulletin?
  • With neighbours or other interested parties - most people want peace and quiet in their area and may see a local youth club as a magnet for noise and chaos.

A 'building book' in a secure and central location may help facilitate communication with other building users, rather than a flurry of post it notes on the fridge. Writing a regular newsletter sounds like a lot of hard work but it might be just the job for someone that wants to help the club but doesn't want to get involved with hands on youth work. Once a template is designed the content can just flow into the space and emailing it to parents directly might increase the chance of it getting home.

Neighbours can provide support if they feel that a club is well run and 'keeping young people off the street', but they may not be as keen if it sounds like a small riot occurs every night in the club. Having club 'open nights' for friends, family and neighbours can show that what sounds like a riot is, in fact, a well run and energetic activity. Parking is a well known aggravator so perhaps asking parents to drop off/pick up young people considerately will help neighbour relations. The club supporting a local charity or engaging in a local environmental initiate may also help build bridges between the club and its community.

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