Youth thrive at YoLo sessions

SINCE reopening in September 2016, the Satellite Centre in Greenfield has been providing a safe and welcoming place for children and young people to socialise and learn new skills.

Along with other organisations the Youth Local Project (YoLo) had played a significant part in working together to establish the Saddleworth Sports, Youth and Community Association, the trust which now manages the building.

Youth Leader Helen Bishop, with YOLO members staffing the Breakfast Club at the Satellite Centre

After spending 18 months operating from other bases, YoLo has since established three regular sessions a week at the Satellite.

They offer a junior session on a Monday evening, a senior session on a Friday evening and a community café ‘The Breakfast Club’ on Saturday mornings from 10am to 1pm, staffed by young volunteers.

The proceeds from the café go towards the cost of room hire and resources.

It also provides one of the best value breakfasts around, at just £4 for a full English or £1.50 for a bacon or sausage butty, with vegetarian options also available. All are very welcome, including well-behaved four-legged friends.

Junior sessions are largely activity based with arts and crafts, group games and music, as well as working on developing social skills and building confidence.

Members have participated in baking, painting, modelling clay, jewellery making, and candle making while having access to a wide range of recreational resources.

They’ve even learnt how to create a non-Newtonian liquid and grown their own herbs, strawberries and onions in raised beds. They’ve got daffodil bulbs to plant soon and hopefully potatoes will be going in too.

Halloween celebrations for junior members with lots of games, music, food and fun have also just taken place.

Open access, drop-in sessions for secondary age young people are run on Friday evenings, providing a safe environment to meet friends and chat about school, family and friends while enjoying the hot and cold food at affordable prices.

Members often make use of the pool table and blue tooth speaker, while accessing information and advice should they need it.

Since its establishment in 2015, YoLo has worked with hundreds of children, young people and their parents in the area, offering a stabilizing influence on those who may need extra support for all sorts of reasons.

“YoLo seeks of create an inclusive and tolerant environment which promotes fairness and equality,” says youth leader, Helen Bishop.

One parent commented that YoLo sessions had “really brought my daughter out of her shell”, and it was the first place that she’d ever been happy to stay on her own without her mum.

• For more information on sessions, contact YoLo via the messaging facility on their Facebook page or email helenbishop25@yahoo.co.uk

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