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Team Leader’s report – Dec-Jan 2018

Team leaders report to Board of Management for 15th January 2018


The first few months have been great I am thoroughly enjoying my role as team leader. After a well – deserved Christmas break the staff team came back on 5th January refreshed and full of ideas. The staff training went really well and we came up with some new ideas for planning and recording sessions and a new rota for junior club to enable it to be more structured. The benefits of having this in place are showing already as this first week back has been the most enjoyable for a while. We have recently recruited ex member Kenny O’Connell for one session per week  to try and get the music rooms back to their full potential.

Jade has joined Julie on the bank staff as she is no longer able to commit to a set session/s.

Sharon is currently working towards her NVQ level 3 in youth work studies, something I feel all staff should be aiming towards.

Staff team:

Frank Kenny (8 sessions), Sharon Dolby (4 Juniors 1,seniors) Ryan Fitzpatrick (3 seniors), Dean Williamson (2 Junior, 2 senior) Daisy Gill (4Junior) Selma Brown (2 seniors, 1 junior) Kenny O’Connell (1 session music)

Volunteers: Thomas Butler 2 sessions per week. Lisa Dumbell currently committed to 1 after school session per week.

Roy McGaw, Lorraine Mangan

Building, facilities and amenities

The décor in the club is looking much tidier, again I’d like to thank the probation service for providing free labour and doing a great job, the sportshall is next to be painted.

The hostel has had new flooring laid at a hugely discounted price thanks to local lad John Rugg of KSE Flooring. The Gym floor needs re-surfacing as the current flooring is slippery and becoming increasingly dangerous. I would recommend keeping John in mind for future work

ASDA have agreed to fund the roofing repairs to the cost of £20,000. This is half the funds we applied for, but will enable the critical areas to be repaired in the Spring. Mersey roofing are signed up to deliver the work.

We have finally commissioned the work for improving our IT and AV systems. This will see the infrastructure updated with improvement on speed and reliability, tablets and laptops for staff use and an AV system that will enable us to run streams of video, photo and text information on at least 2 TV screens. It is hoped that members can treat this as a journalism option and create their own material and research and upload quality and relevant educational and engaging material that it is useful and fun. The work should be complete by mid – February and is funded by a grant.

Junior club

Junior club is going very well at present we average around 25-40 young people per night from 7 different schools, although our main intake is children who come on the walking bus from Faith primary. A couple of recent junior club highlights include the Nativity play in St. Peters church and the junior club Christmas party. Big thank you to all at All saints parish in Southport for their continued support and kind donations of presents for the grotto. We have a junior club trip to Shrewsbury school to look forward to in April and as you can imagine the children are really looking forward to this. Over the festive period I received an invitation from Liverpool football club to bring some of our junior members to the FA Cup game vs Everton and the 7 young people who attended were given the whole VIP treatment with a personal chef at their disposal. A fantastic experience and a memorable day for all, besides the result !!

Senior club

Senior club numbers are very good: we have over 100 registered members and are averaging 30+ young people per night. We are still managing to attract young people from all over the city in addition to our core of local members.

The Inbetweenagers club has been a success with 25 new members since November; it will be this group who will be working towards the next causeway exchange programme in April.

We have had some thoughts about creating some “Girls only” space. I would be interested in discussing this matter

Sports alive have recently started coming into senior club providing multi sports sessions and we are hoping to get them back into juniors in the near future

Members seem really very excited about their own idea of a Sponsored social media silence. We are actively planning towards a weekend away to deliver this and hopefully record the results.

Links with other agencies and future plans

I will be attending a conference in Kakkola Finland from 8-10 February to confirm our membership to the European Network of Youth Clubs, where I will be doing a presentation on our work at the Shewsy.

We continue to build on our relationship with “Talk about Youth” project in Dublin and Saltney youth council in Wales and will be taking part in a tri lateral youth exchange programme in April, June and October.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has agreed to take part in this years’ Medic Malawi expedition along with 3 senior girls.

I will table the club’s Spring programme on Monday

We are planning towards an entry into the national FA People’s Cup 5 x side football competition

We are hoping to receive a 2nd table tennis table as a donation from an ex club member

We are beginning our thinking and planning towards our annual Summer fair on 23rd June and maybe expanding its scope and ambition

John’s blog 3: Valuable people….and questions

The other night I bumped into Adrian Struve (ran the club in c 1962 and was preaching at the Abbey in Shrewsbury last Sunday (and just turned 92), George and Pat Cotterell (ex members) and Peter Brennan (team leader c 1988 – 2001) at the Lost Tribes of Everton play which was a three night sell out!  All strong supporters of the club. We need everyone on board. These folk are Angels…join the club. Will you ?

Talking of which, big thanks to Alastair Ross (hostel c 1978) and Neville Black (staff c 1964 – 1968). We have got a bit sharper in asking for support from our ex hostel tribe. And the wonderful Mike Hodges ( hostel c 1978) is first up with a reply. Love ya Mike. I’ll say this now. I believe Questions and the asking of them, tells one a huge amount about the person in front of you and Mike Hodges is the best example of that skill that I have ever encountered. So what the applied skill does is this – it shows:

  • Interest and respect as a listener
  • Clarity that you don’t know and would like to know
  • Humility and an appetite to learn

I write this with Bob Dylan playing in the background…lovely…except it isn’t really Bob… ( I can decipher every word!) it’s John O Connell, (ex club member c 1974 – 1978) on his latest CD playing Dylan songs. John is a wonderfully accomplished professional musician, pre- eminent and massively respected on the Liverpool scene and in good touch with the club. I like to think (and I could ask him  this)… that the Shewsy was a big help in getting him to where he is. As I listen to “Forever Young”, not only do I want to sign him up for playing at my funeral…. But these words fit so well as a sign off:

May God bless and keep you always, May your wishes all come true

May you always do for others, And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars, And climb on every rung

May you grow up to be righteous, May you grow up to be true.

May you always know the truth, And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous, Stand upright and be strong

May your hands always be busy, May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation, When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful, And may your song always be sung

May you stay forever young, Forever young, forever young,

May you stay forever young

Bob Dylan

John Hutch

Team leader’s report – Oct-Nov 2017

Team leaders report to board of management meeting: 13th November 2017


It only seems like yesterday since I wrote my first report to the Board of Management. (time flies when you’re having fun) the past couple of months have been action packed and I feel I have settled in to my new role as team leader quite well and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

Staff team:

Frank Kenny (8 sessions), Sharon Dolby (4 Juniors) Ryan Fitzpatrick (2 seniors), Jade Dumbell (1senior) Julie Fitzpatrick (1 session) Dean Williamson (2 Juniors) Daisy Gill (2 senior music) Selma Brown (2 seniors)

Volunteers: Thomas Butler 2 sessions per week. Lisa Dumbell currently committed to 1 after school session per week. Julie Dumbell.

Ancillary staff

Roy McGaw, Lorraine Mangan


The building is improving; the faulty lights in the main hall are now repaired. We have agreed to get rid of the pink décor in the club and are reverting back to the clubs original colours of yellow and red. ( chosen by members) The work is being carried out by the probation service every Friday,

The hostel currently has one tenant who will be with us for another couple of weeks. However I understand that there are more bookings in place

Since the last meeting the bus room has been ripped out and shelving has been fitted, this has freed up space in the club area leaving it looking a lot less cluttered, and providing much needed storage space.

I would like to thank Dr Simon Abraham for kindly donating a table tennis table, this has proven really popular with the members and couldn’t have come at a better time as the others are damaged and unfit for purpose.

Junior club

Junior club numbers are currently really good, this week we averaged 30 per night on the walking bus alone. It was fantastic to see so many junior members taking part in the blue run for Joseph on 20th October  a big well done to all involved, the schools, WECC and FOEP.

The Halloween party went really well once again and the help from local volunteers was a great help especially decorating the club and preparing the party food. Over 50 young people attended on the night aged from newborn to 11 and a great day was had by all.

Senior Club

In mid September we took 45 senior club members to Blackpool for our annual day out. Despite my previous nerves about what I have perceived as a difficult group I was pleasantly surprised and we had a fantastic incident free day.

Since the installation of the cctv cameras the senior club is running a lot better. Numbers are still very good although some of the more difficult young people may see this as a bit of a deterrent as they haven’t been in much lately. Although we would like to be engaging with this group, this however has had a positive impact on the quality of youth work practice that is being delivered by staff.

We have recently recruited Selma Brown for 2 sessions a week in senior club. Selma has a wealth of experience working with young people and is currently a higher level teaching assistant at Faith primary school and seems like a quality addition to the team.

We took 40 young people to silver blades ice rink in Widnes on 30th October (mischief night) this enabled us to keep the young people from engaging in anti social activity on the night, and helped to reduce crime levels or reports of anti social behaviour which rocket at this time of year. Photos/videos have been uploaded to the clubs instagram page @theshewsy which will hopefully be accessible through the website along with the twitter feed in the coming week or so.

In addition to Thursday nights project night we have introduced an “Inbetweenagers” group for young people in school years 6,7 and 8. This was done in consultancy with local families when we noticed there was a number of young people who had grown out of junior club but didn’t feel comfortable or confident enough to make the step up in to seniors. So far this has been a great success averaging 25 young people per session all of whom are engaging positively. We have since registered in excess of 120 members whose postcodes map from Everton, Aintree, Knotty Ash, Fazakerley, Walton, Maghull, Bootle and even the Wirral. This tells us that our “reach” has considerably broadened, although the majority of members are still within “walking” distance.

Links with other agencies

We continue to work closely with West Everton Community Council. The walking bus from Faith school bus has been greatly improved and this is reflected in the growing number of members.

We also maintain our great links with Shrewsbury school and only last week took a group of male members up to play the under 14 b team (10-1 to the Shewsy but we’ll leave that there!). During the visit it gave the opportunity for senior member and keen cricketer Josef Rooney to use the excellent cricket facilities on offer, he also scored 4 goals in the football match, and it’s safe to say the staff were very impressed.

Having completed the application to become a member of the Erasmus programme’s European network of youth centres, I am pleased to announce that we have now been accepted and I will be attending a conference in Kokkola, Finland on 8-10th February in which I will have the opportunity to meet other organisations whilst giving a presentation on the work we do here at the Shewsy.

John Dumbell, Team leader



John’s blog 2: Couldn’t manage without the Management

The wonderful Fran Croft (ex club member), is recovering from a serious bout of Meningitis, and has needed to take a break from the Board of Management at the Club.  Fran has done unbelievable hours and diligence in the Treasurer’s role over the past 6 or so years and it has been hard.  She has also been the ‘go to’ person for any questions over the past 15 years. She deserves enormous gratitude and a place in the pantheon of Shewsy hero / ines from everyone with an interest in the club. Thanks Fran – see you soon!

Likewise Robin Brooke-Smith and Chris Conway have served the Board of Management for what feels like a millennium. Both have retired from the board. Huge thanks to both of them. Sean Duncan, long standing member of the Club’s Members group has also decided to retire. Many thanks to him too. The relationship with the school is as good as ever it was and this is in no small part due to them. Brilliant people, substantial contribution. Recorded. Thank you all SO much. We will thank you face to face in due course.

Mark Turner, head at the school, is also on his way, though not till July 2018. I think it fair to say Mark had his doubts when he first encountered the club, but he has become a fervent supporter, delighted that we have made the Social Studies courses such a valuable educational component of the school curriculum. He recently raised more than £7500 for the Medic Malawi charity and the Shewsy club. Thanks Mark!

John Hutch


Happy Halloween party

The Halloween party went really well once again this year and the help from local volunteers was a great help especially decorating the club and preparing the party food.

Over 50 young people attended on the night aged from newborn to 11 and a great day was had by all.