2017 The Year in Review
2017 marked a big year for the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre, 70 years since returning prisoners of war made their dream a reality and founded the Brunswick Boys Club, which would later go on to be the Brunswick Youth club, and finally the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre.
As well as marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre this year has also seen the achievements of several significant milestones. The Brunswick signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant, in essence the Brunswick formalised our commitment to those who serve or have served, and their families. The Brunswick was assessed and achieved the Bronze award through the Employer Recognition Scheme for our commitment to the principles of Armed Forces Covenant .
Later in the year the work and support that the Brunswick Youth and Community had done that went beyond the remit of our commitment under the Armed Forces Covenant was recognised, work such a support the Veterans in Sefton organsation and hosting them at the centre, as well as becoming the new home for the Bootle Detachment Army Cadet Force, and giving veterans the opportunity to volunteers with the youth club to break down barriers, build confidence and share their valuable skills with young people. The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre was nominated for and achieved the Silver award.
2017 was also a year of forging new partnerships and strengthening old ones. The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre had gone through a refurbishment allow us to optimise the space we have so that we could support our community even more effectively and host several new partners permanently at the centre, partners such as Veterans in Sefton a organsation offer advice, support, and guidance to veterans and their families. The Bootle Detachment Army Cadet Force has also set up base here at the Brunswick in the heart of Bootle, Inspire 2 Independence is another organisation that has set up offices in the centre, the organsation supports people back in to training and work.
Alongside the new partners based at the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre the Brunswick has strengthened our ties with old partners, the Jamie Carragher Sports & Learning Academy continues to be based at the Brunswick offering educational courses upto BTEC levels 2 and 3 for young people, as well giving them the opportunity to gain practical hands on experience, as well as offering courses during the holidays for children and young people through the Jamie Carragher Soccer schools.
As well as those organisations that have offices at the Centre, the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre continues to work groups that hold regular sessions here, such as the weekly Mama Margaret St James Pensioners club, a group that offer social activities for senior members of our local community, also the Liverpool Tamil Kalvikoodam continues to offer educational courses through a weekend school based at the Brunswick for members of the Sri Lankan community across Merseyside. The Brownies 21st Bootle and Litherland pack (St James) continue to hold weekly sessions for its members here at the Brunswick, and the weekly sessions held with All Saints and Seaforth Childrens Centres continue to draws in parents and toddlers offering soft play, music sessions, and healthy snacks, and acting as a place for parents to make friends, find support, and interact with other parents.
Throughout this year the strengthened links with One Vision Housing has been invaluable in helping us to support the local community, as has the continued sponsorship from Donoghue Solicitors, a business set up by a “Brunny old boy” wanting to put something back in to the Brunswick and local community.
By forging these partnerships we have ensured that the Brunswick is more effective and accessible as ever and continues to be the Hub for the local community in Bootle.
The extraordinary work that the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre delivers as well as its unique history and special anniversary led to the centre being honoured with a Royal visit by HRH Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex. Children, Young people and staff from the Brunswick alongside partners had the opportunity to visit meet the Prince and speak about their experiences with the Brunswick, amongst those present to meet the Prince were Bob King, a former prisoner of war in Oflag 79 where the founders of the Brunswick were held during the Second World War, as well as a son of one of the founders of the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre. The Prince spent time with children from All Saints Primary school who come to the centre for regular lessons in the community garden around horticulture.
Throughout the year the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre has continue to strengthen the offer that we deliver for children and young people from the local community, from the Junior Kids Club, Senior Youth Club, Girls Club, ADHD Foundation session, as well as outreach sessions working with children and young people out in the community. The Brunswick also worked closely with partners such as Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue, One Vision Housing, and Sefton Council over the bonfire and mischief period to engage young people in positive activities and divert them away from entry in to the criminal justice system.
During this year the team at the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre have continued to work hard to secure funding and support so that the important work delivered by the centre continues to be available to our community. 2017 has seen the Brunswick secure significant funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, & Sport and the Big Lottery Fund through their joint funding programme the Youth Investment Fund. The funding is secured for 3 years and will allow the Brunswick to extend and enhance existing programmes as well as role out new programme of work ranging from a dedicated Girls Group, outreach in the local area, an apprentice programme, access to training and the opportunities for young people to take part in residentials, alongside access to junior and senior youth club provisions at the centre.
Alongside support from funders and partners this year the Brunswick continued the tradition of the annual Michael Marshall Memorial Golf Day, the event held at Royal Liverpool is named for a founding member of the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre and raises funds to support the work of the Brunswick with teams from across the North West and beyond competing for the Michael Marshall Memorial Trophy.
As the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre closes out the year and heads into 2018 we have developed exciting new programmes for young people such as the young apprentice scheme, supporting young people to get hands on experience in youth work, acting as mentors to younger members, and developing new skills.
At the heart of the work the Brunswick Youth and Community Centre delivers remain the principles of respect that the organsation was founded on, Respect for ourselves, respect for each other, respect for our centre, and respect for our community. 2017 has been a huge milestone for us all at the Brunswick, Past, Present, Future, – to look back at our roots, recognise the journey that has brought us to where we are, and to look at the future we want to build going forward. Past, Present, Future.
As we move forward we will continue to place the needs of our community as the driving force for the services we develop and offer, ensuring a relevant, accessible, and engaging programme for our whole community.