We are delighted that the DICE Connections Project has been funded by the Big Lottery for a further two years, which kicked off January 2020. The project aims to reach young people across North Down, but particularly those from the Bloomfield, Breezemount, Clandeboye and Whitehill areas. Before the club closures in late March due to Covid 19, we ran weekly sessions for young people, consisting of a number of activities, from learning about children’s rights, to some very competitive games of dodgeball! All the while slotting in much loved cooking and baking sessions.
In addition to general youth work activities, we have a number of project outcomes which focus on connecting young people with the outdoors, enhancing core life skills, promoting citizenship, and diverting young people away from harmful activities through sustained youth work provision. We value young people and the experiences and opinions they bring; we therefore believe youth work should be youth-led and we consult with young people on an ongoing basis to meet their needs.
The Young People
DICE youth clubs are open to all young people from the age of 10 to 15 years of age. We strive to uphold our “safe, fun and welcoming” ethos throughout each club, to provide a reliable and consistent space, in which young people have a voice and are valued for who they are. We emphasise the voluntary nature of youth work, and the onus is on the young person to engage. In youth clubs we do a range of life skills activities such as cooking, art, video creation, team work, communication, and outdoor activities. In addition, we also provide support with education and have piloted singing, guitar lessons and even looking to develop a football team. Please keep a close eye on our DICE Project Facebook page for updates and contact us to register your young person for club/s. The current DICE youth clubs running are:
- BREEZEMOUNT – MONDAYS 7pm – 9pm in Green Road Community Centre, Breezemount
- CLANDEBOYE – TUESDAYS 7pm – 9pm in Clandeboye Village Community Hall, Church St.
- BLOOMFIELD – TUESDAYS 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Bloomfield Primary School *for Bloomfield p7’s only at present*
- YOUNG LEADERS – THURSDAYS 7pm – 9pm in Clandeboye Village Community Hall, Church St.
- CLANDEBOYE – FRIDAYS 7pm – 9pm in Clandeboye Village Community Hall, Church St.
To register your young person for DICE Connections, please complete the attached registration form and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to form is here – https://ndcn.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Reg-form-2021-pdf.pdf
Whilst this phase of the project was in its early stages, we were a month into a newly formed Afterschools club. This involved a partnership with a local primary school whereby young people had an hour of physical activity, followed by an hour of “drop in” with DICE, to focus on their general wellbeing and personal development. We were joined by a local Ulster and Irish Rugby player who was interviewed by very well-prepared young people around commitment, mental wellbeing, healthy eating and positive general lifestyle habits that come with professional sports.
As well as this, we were excited to begin the Innate Health Education and Resilience Training (IHEART) with the first cohort of young people which sets out to uncover and support young people’s innate resilience and mental wellbeing.
Similarly, prior to lockdown, Breezemount DICE enjoyed a lovely sunny day at Belfast Activity Centre with half of the group mountain biking and the other half orienteering. Post Covid 19, we will resume our plans to deliver mentoring programmes, young leaders’ programmes, residentials and outdoor adventures.
Due to the current COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions we are unable to accept volunteers at this time, but please keep an eye on this page to see when volunteering opportunities open up again.
North Down Community Network sees the value in all communities being serviced with quality youth provision and will endeavour to ensure that each community and each section of our communities have access to high-quality youth provision.
A copy of NDCN’s comprehensive and robust Safeguarding Policy is available on request.