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Connecting Our Communities

Woolwich Youth Centre looks to fill in the gaps of any summertime downtime

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School’s been out for less than a month, but if you’re hearing any rumblings along the lines of “I’m bored,” the Woolwich Youth Centre is looking to help kids fill their idle hours.

Provided as a satellite location for the Woolwich Community Services, the centre is available to all kids from Grade 6 to the age of 18. Located at the Woolwich Memorial Centre, it operates Tuesdays to Fridays, 1-10 p.m., providing youth a safe, supervised and fun environment.

Opened in February 2002 after a successful summer pilot the previous season, the late afternoon and evening program provides a friendly drop-in primarily for youth to enjoy recreation and leisure, including pool, table games, computers, foosball, movies and music.

“Daily activities for a brain boost. Youth can get active with a daily sport, game, or challenge to keep them moving. There are evening activities, games, and tournaments for everyone. Pool, air hockey, video games, Rockband, music, games, planned outings and more,” said Tina Reed, WCS’ coordinator of community support. “Members are offered one free fruit per day. There’s a shack on site for additional snack and drink purchases. Comfy couches for relaxing, tables and chairs for doing work or playing games and friendly staff to chat and offer support when needed.”

A staffed hangout place, the centre’s goal is to provide ongoing programs for the youth by making use of existing community facilities, said Reed.

WCS wants the centre to also facilitate employment services and volunteer opportunities by providing support, friendship and guidance to youth.

Although it does work on membership fees, WCS tries to keep costs reasonable.

“Membership is $30 for one full year – assistance is available if required – and $1 for occasional drop-in,” she said.

Reed said she feels the youth centre is an important staple for Elmira.

“The youth in our township need to have a place they can have a sense of belonging, where they can find a mentor and support and give the same in kind to their peers. Programs support the youth in making choices, becoming a team player and to teach positive relationship skills,” she said. “The youth centre creates a way, through outings and volunteering, to connect the youth to their community and allows the community in-turn to create supportive relationships with the youth.”

The centre will be holding a fundraising barbeque at the Woolwich Community Services office on August 10 and 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

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