With the business that comes at the end of the year, the winter break was welcoming. Come the end of that break our staff were raring to go and ready to face the challenges that lay ahead in 2019. December was a great month. The festive season allowing us to go on fun trips, engage in the community with various acts of kindness and it also gave us as staff the opportunity to treat the young people that attend our groups.
As usual, December was an extremely busy month. Christmas is a time that allows us to think about how we can get out into the local areas, and get our young people talking to and helping the diverse groups of people who reside in the surrounding communities.
Like always, we had our Braniel Senior’s Christmas Dinner. The young people from the Braniel got suited and booted, serving delicious Christmas Dinners to the elderly residents of the estate. This night is always a massive success, and is a big factor when looking at the very positive relationship that Dreamscheme has with the Braniel as a community. After the dinner we had some karaoke, which was enjoyed by both the young people and the elderly folks.
Milltown Christmas Dinner
It is always a pleasure to be able to treat our young people, especially after they have spent their year working towards getting points to be able to go on trips. With Milltown, this was no exception. We had an amazing team of cooks who volunteered to put together a 3 course meal for the group.
We had around 30 young people there, and after the dinner we played some games which involved various forfeits, such as horrible tasting sweets and chilli chocolate. Overall, it was a fantastic night. This is the 3rd year in a row that we have been involved in this, and as always, it proved a massive success.
January saw the beginning of the Moneyreagh project, which has been a massive success, seeing around 15 young people engaging with our leaders. These have involved a variety of different workshops and also so many different activities.
January was all about planning for the year ahead and thinking about how we could grow in each of our areas. Often, we sat down with the young people and asked them about what different issues we could cover with them, and also where they wanted to go on trips, after first completing the activities and workshops. January was a great month in terms of getting all our groups up and running again, after a well earned Christmas break.
February was a great month for community engagement. In our Braniel and Belvoir groups, we had bingo nights with the elderly residents. This was such an effective way to get our young people talking to and learning from the elderly who reside in their respective estates.
The Braniel group also had a great educational trip to RADAR in Belfast with the Police, talking about anti-social behaviour and drugs and alcohol awareness issues.
One of the highlights of February was the residential for the Roma and Milltown groups. We took the guys to the Jungle NI, where they were put right outside their comfort zones, doing paintball shooting, jumping on the bungee trampolines, and also through the trees on the high ropes course. It was a great residential with fantastic conversations. As well as this, both of the groups mixed together well and had built good relationships come the end of the trip!
We ended 2018 on a high, and it has been another great 2 months to kick off 2019. We can’t wait to see what the year has in store us. We are excited to get alongside new young people, take another group away to Camp Sonshine Portugal, and just continue to work hard in all of our areas!