Fylde's Streetwise Youth Club shaping up to celebrate its 20th anniversary
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At the time, they wanted their own teenage children to get off the new computer games, become more active and socialise more.
The first sessions of Streetwise were more keep fit and self defence-based training, starting with the Gregoire children’s friends and growing steadily.
Over the next few years, Gerry’s occupation as a youth worker helped him integrate the young adults of the Harbour House supported housing scheme with the youth of Streetwise and more music and media-based workshops followed.
They started writing their own songs and recording them and in 2008 a collaboration youth produced an award winning song and video which they devised and performed entirely by themselves.
The song called Who are U 2 Judge ME won the Princess Diana Award for Anti Bullying and the powerful accompanying video is still used as a tool for antibullying workshops in schools and colleges across the country.
With the use of a minibus, Streetwise was able to collect children living in surrounding areas and take them free of charge to the y outh club sessions.
From that began other activities during the week such as Streetdance and Boxfit, and the club’s Time To Shine shows followed, designed to allow all the children in the club to show off their talent, whatever it was, from reading a poem, telling jokes, singing or playing instruments.
All those too shy to perform had roles behind the scenes and the shows were highly successful.
Over the years Streetwise has won many awards : the Pride of Fylde Award, Swallowdale, FyldeCouncil Community Club of the Year, Bibas finalists and recently Queen’s award nominee 2022
In 2017, Streetwise got their own Community Centre at Butler’s Meadow, Warton which they renovated and were able to open daily. Since then, the club has expanded into community work, outreach, food banks, free music lessons, free holiday clubs, performing arts and wellbeing school, mentoring, family clubs and even more.
Over the last year, it has branched out into delivering positive classes and workshops into local schools, has also opened youth clubs in surrounding areas and has been commissioned by local parish and town councils to run activities and outreach programmes for youth in the local areas.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Streetwise is holding a charity ball at Ribby Hall, Wrea Green on Saturday, April 23, with singer Mark Jay the hoist or an evening which includes a three-course dinner, disco, raffle and auction to raise funds for the continued work of Streetwise across Fylde.
Streetwise is encouraging local businesses and groups to support the event and Gerry and Elaine will be grateful for any auction and raffle donations. Further information by email [email protected] or calling Elaine on 07828142501
Elaine said: “We’re really proud of what has been achieved so far and looking forward so much to the celebrations.
"Streetwise helps all local under privileged and disadvantaged children experience different activities and skills which they can nurture into a gift or talent at no monetary cost to them. The aim is to create a happy memory which will last forever.”