Live music and three-course meals might not be the first things you associate with youth clubs, but Crawley Youth Community Service (CCYS) is a youth organisation with a difference.
Providing town-wide clubs every weeknight, CCYS offers 9-25 year olds the chance to try activities such as music, art, sport and cooking in a pressure-free environment.
As well as creating safe spaces for teens to hang out, CCYS seeks to stretch the imagination of all who walk through their doors.
One way they achieve this is through their new “Dream Box” style club. Dream Box asks each individual to name one thing they would love to do but feel is beyond their reach. Sometimes the answer is wild and ambitious; other times more straightforward. Either way, their youth leader makes plans to help bring their dreams alive.
Some dreams evolve to include the whole CCYS community. Born of one young member’s dream, a pop-up Christmas restaurant will take place on 16th December at the newly-refurbished Dormans Youth Arts Centre, Gossops Green.
Cooking aficionados will create a culinary feast to be served by young waiters in a hall decked out for Christmas by their artistic friends. Musicians from their “Sound on the Stage” club will provide entertainment, alongside other acts.
The weeks leading up to the event will see the clubs buzzing with creative preparations, learning about healthy eating and practising skills.
Service manager Tim Simmans says of the Christmas event, “It symbolises what we’re trying to do… Giving young people opportunities to show the community what they do is so important.”
Such commitment to fulfilling young people’s potential is one reason Children in Need recently awarded the CCYS Bewbush club three years’ funding, with the purpose of engaging the community, giving young people a voice, raising aspirations and improving wellbeing.
For more information on CCYS weekly activities and the pop-up Christmas restaurant, please see our website: www.ccys.org.uk