Annual Impact Report 2020-2021

ANNUAL IMPACT REPORT
April 2020-March 2021
INTRODUCTION – THE FIRST YEAR OF THE PANDEMIC
Boys & Girls Clubs is a registered charity founded in 1940 that works to support and represent a membership of local youth groups and organisations, with a collective membership of over 15,000 children and young people across Northern Ireland. In any normal year, we would work directly with over 2000 young people – but 2020 was not a normal year, not for our society, our sector, our organisation, its staff and volunteers, and not for the children and young people that we serve. It was the first year of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic severely impacted our capacity as a youth organisation to support our membership of local youth groups. Many part-time voluntary youth groups remain partially or fully closed today – particularly those in rural areas.
Throughout this challenging period, we continued to REACH out to all young people to INVOLVE and enable them to ENJOY & ACHIEVE together ‘online’ in shared, non-formal educational activities. Most children & young people were without access to their friends, schools and youth services due to the new legislation and social restrictions set in response to the pandemic. Parents, families, children and young people had to adapt to the evolving health, economic and social circumstances affecting everyone, but which disproportionately impacted on those living in poverty. The disruption adversely affected young people’s emotional health and wellbeing through loss of structure, social connectedness and for some, not having a place to feel safe. Boys & Girls Clubs aims to promote the inclusion, engagement and development of all young people regardless of their cultural, political or religious background and to this end we sought to deliver a range of online digital programmes, projects, training and services for young people and their support workers during the pandemic.
We now present our Annual Impact Report for the period April 2020 – March 2021 and hope that it adequately conveys a positive yet realistic impression of the vision & mission we work to achieve and the values that steer us during challenging times.