Creeslough Youth Club: A Hub of Community, Creativity, and Friendship

This article appeared in the 2023 edition of The Creeslough View

The Creeslough Youth Club comes to life every Wednesday evening from September to June. This incredible initiative owes its success to the dedication of local parents who willingly volunteer their time to create an enriching environment for the community’s young people. Without the support and funding from Donegal Youth Service, the club’s accomplishments would not have been possible.

Throughout the year, the youth club is a hub of activity, resonating with laughter, friendship, and learning. Participants try out an array of engaging activities that range from clay moulding and animation classes to life-saving Mini Medics sessions. The club even ventured into the realm of wildlife with a memorable petting zoo visit. 

Oran Mc Daid doing CPR

One of the highlights of the year was the celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, during which the club members embraced the “Rock Your Socks” campaign. This event not only showcased their creativity but also demonstrated their commitment to inclusivity and awareness.

Trips were a vital component of the youth club’s offerings. An outing to the Millennium Forum to witness a performance of Cinderella which was followed by dinner at the Mandarin Palace. Members from the club took part in the Donegal Youth Service quiz and came an impressive second place. 

Members of the youth club enjoying the petting zoo visit

A standout achievement was the introduction of the first-ever one-week-long summer camp. This allowed the youth to immerse themselves in a world of creativity and self-expression. They delved into graffiti and street art, taking part in a hands-on summer camp that encouraged them to translate their ideas onto paper. Collaborating in groups, they pooled their artistic visions and shared them with professional artists Mark & Ray from Peaball Visual Arts Company. The culmination of their efforts was a stunning mural that can be seen on the side of the Post Office in the town. 

Working with clay

The youth club’s achievements extend beyond activities and outings. Hannah Toye’s commendable commitment was recognised with the Donegal Youth Club Young Volunteer of the Year award. Her devotion, maturity, and leadership set an inspiring example for her peers, as she continues to make a positive impact within the club she cherishes. 

Shauna Mc Fadden enjoying time with a pet rabbit

Youth club member, Shauna McFadden enjoys attending the youth club each week and meeting up with friends. She mentions that the youth club has a no-phone policy. “We have a rule that we have no mobile phones in the youth club because they are distracting. We get to do some fun active games like gathering plastic balls while lying on a skateboard with team members steering you by holding your legs, which is very hard when you are laughing so much! We get to go on trips out to Derry and different places. I go to a special needs school and there is only one person from my school there, which means that I get to meet and become friends with other youths in my community. We had a full week of summer camp this year and we helped the Peaball people to design a graffiti mural for the town of Creeslough. We had so much fun and at the end of the week, we got to see the finished graffiti and get something to eat at Rose’s followed by ice cream at Scrumptious. We had photos afterwards and made it into the local paper!”

Participants on a Youth club trip

Another member Emma Mc Gee also loves meeting up with her friends each week. “We play lots of different games and go on lots of trips, I have also met lots of new friends. Joanne and Tussie are great leaders and lots of fun. I am really looking forward to going back this year.

As another chapter unfolds in the history of Creeslough Youth Club, the legacy of community, creativity, and friendship continues to thrive. The tireless efforts of local parents, the generosity of supporters, and the unwavering dedication of the young people themselves ensure that Creeslough Youth Club remains a place where bonds are formed, talents are nurtured, and unforgettable memories are created.