16th Jul, 2020

Droitwich's DAFFY youth club goes virtual during COVID-19 lockdown

A YOUTH club which operates at Westlands Community Hall has now moved online so the young people who attended can still stay in touch with each other.

DAFFY (Droitwich Action For Future Youth) ran on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays but since the Government’s lockdown regulations has been unable to meet in person.

So the organisers of the club decided to create a virtual club, using a private Facebook Group, for past and present DAFFY members.

Every day the club holds daily quizzes, competitions and challenges aimed at providing a positive, supportive environment.

Gemma Crook, from DAFFY, said: “We have done live videos making slime and only this week I dressed up as a character from my favourite film again ‘the pigeon lady from Home Alone 2’ which I had done previously at a DAFFY Christmas Party which they found hilarious.

“It’s about continuing the four sessions / eight hours-a-week over three evenings like we did before lockdown, but I think it’s much more than that at the moment.”

All the youth workers at DAFFY have full-time jobs or volunteer their time.

Gemma used to work at DAFFY but had to give it up when she moved to London.

She kept in touch with the group, mainly via sending postcards from the capital and, when she returned to Worcestershire in 2018, going back to the help run the club was one of the first things she did as she missed it so much.

“I couldn’t wait to to return and it was even better as I was working alongside a volunteer youth worker who was once a young person when I first started ten years ago – she is an asset to DAFFY.”

Another project Gemma has been working on has been creating blue bows which she has been tying to trees around Redditch, where she lives, to thank the NHS.

She then came up with the idea of the young people from DAFFY making ‘virtual bows’ which could be posted online – a selection of the creations is pictured above.

The club now wants to open up the idea to the community and is inviting others in the community to create and share the blue NHS thank you bows they make, using the hashtag #nhsbowyourthanks

Gemma added: “Just like the rainbow pictures we would love to see your ‘bow’ designs and will include these in our #nhsbowofthanks DAFFY video called ‘it’s all about that bow’.”

Although the virtual DAFFY is specifically for past and present members, a Facebook page for young people, carers and the wider community, run by the club, has also been created to offer help and support.

Click here to find out more.

What the young people say about DAFFY…….

Some of the young people have been putting down their thoughts about what DAFFY means to them

One said: “DAFFY is a unique service providing opportunities and services to young people from all backgrounds.

“The staff are compassionate, understanding and are great at building bonds with the kids.

“The youth group grows to become a second family, providing a safe, comfortable and memorable space for all that attend.”

Another added: “DAFFY is a kind and fun place to go – especially for young people getting them off the streets to go to a place to meet new people and get out of trouble!

“The staff treat everyone fairly and you can go to them when you need advice or need help with something they are very supportive.

“Also it’s a very safe place for young people!”

And another described DAFFY as a kind and fun place which could help cheer people when they are having a ‘really mad time’.

“It has so many activities going on everyone can take part and make new friends you can talk to them about anything and everything because I know it can really help a lot .

“It’s a time where all teenagers can get off the streets and have a good time with everyone – yes there’s someone people who don’t get along but that doesn’t stop people being happy.

“DAFFY is non judgemental and everyone looks out for you – it’s a good place to go.”

One person summed it up in one sentence: “It’s a place that keeps me the good lad I am. Thanks.”

And another added: “DAFFY’s a great place to go to get yourself out of trouble, especially for younger children.

“It has a lot of things to play with and has music to keep you entertained.

“They also do cooking with the little ones who attend too.

“It’s a safe environment and once you’ve been for a while you get comfortable there.

“There is always something to do, also the staff are all so understanding and they help you with anything you need.

“It’s like a second family to most.”

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