YMCA continues festive programme

Having fun at a Larne YMCA night out at the Blue Chicago Grill. INLT-51-700-con
Having fun at a Larne YMCA night out at the Blue Chicago Grill. INLT-51-700-con

Larne YMCA’s packed festive programme of training and community activities is heating up despite the Winter chill.

The group’s Development Workers’ Forum recently joined with fellow workers in Larne for a Christmas Lunch at AEL’s Lunchbox.

Enjoying activities with friends at Larne YMCA. INLT-51-701-con

Enjoying activities with friends at Larne YMCA. INLT-51-701-con

The group wish to thank Catherine for organising it and to praise the regular Development Workers’ Forum meetings, which they say are a great source of information and encouragement.

Training sessions are continuing, with worker Laura due to complete her TAQA Assessor’s Award next week having already achieved her first two playworker assessments.

She is also busy with her Level 5 in playwork, which she hopes to complete early next year.

In addition, Dean is participating in the new YMCA Ireland/Youthlink Continued Professional Training Programme.

Christmas celebrations at Larne YMCA. INLT-51-702-con

Christmas celebrations at Larne YMCA. INLT-51-702-con

The programme aims to create a sense of common purpose, to create a network of staff who can support each other’s work and to equip youth work staff with appropriate skills and knowledge in key areas.

These include measuring outcomes, peace-building/inclusion and health and mental wellbeing.

Dean will also be undertaking assessor’s training and has started off this week with Internal Quality Assurance as part of his Level 4 training.

The group’s Friday meeting was attended by MLA Sammy Wilson and Councillors Greg McKeen, Gordon Lyons and Paul Reid.

The visitors were updated on the work of Larne YMCA, its aspirations and concerns, and also got the opportunity to see the aptly-named “Chronicles of Larnia.”

YMCA members also attended Larne Community Development Project’s AGM and heard how they have been supporting local community groups over the past few years with funding applications, governance and practical resources.

On Monday night, the YMCA celebrated the Soundscaping Project run in conjunction with Wheelworks.

The project saw `the launch of the final recording of sounds which are special to the participants.

That night the YMCA also hosted refreshments for Dixon Park Residents’ Association after their Christmas Tree Light Up.

The YMCA’s After Schools group are also finalising arrangements for the performance of their Christmas play.

Scenery is taking shape and the script, written by the members, is now finalised.

After Schools are also looking forward to getting involved with AEL’s Allotment Project in the spring.

Anyone with green fingers and some spare time to take part is welcome to join.

Meanwhile, the group’s Dare to Swim project continues with its Survive and Savers having their first experience of using the choking vest as part of their Life Support award.

Leanne’s Girls’ Project also concluded with an outing to the Blue Chicago restaurant.

The project included sessions on health, personal safety, beauty and hair care.

Weekly Wednesday cookery sessions continued with spicy lentil stew on offer, which was much appreciated by the staff at lunch last Thursday.

Lastly, a slight problem with the group’s new heating system is set to be overcome with a replacement, which is on its way from England to banish the festive froideur.