The Basement – is located in the CONNECT 61 building beneath Eden Coffee House and is accessed via the steps adjacent to the Country Chippy. The Basement opened its doors almost 10 years ago at a time when it was apparent there were large numbers of young people in the village who had nothing positive to invest their time in which was leading to risk-taking and anti-social behaviour.
The Youth Centre is open for Drop-in on THURSDAYS from 7.30-10pm for ages 11-17. The facilities on offer are a pool table, computers, xbox and a tuck shop! This becomes our main point of contact with young people and is a platform for engaging them in tailored projects that develop confidence and self- esteem and expand their horizons.
Recent projects include the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme in partnership with the Boys Brigade, a sexual health project in partnership with Love for Life and a Fixers film-making project. In the past we have also taken groups to Kenya, Romania and Poland to engage in a variety of practical work and mission opportunities.
Our current tribe of approximately 30 young people have found difficulty in locating an area in the village to hang out due to the lack of open public space in Waringstown. The Basement therefore, has become a safe place for them to be with friends without fear of opposition.
In the Autumn term we enjoyed trips to ice-skating and We Are Vertigo which always finish with the obligatory trip to McDonalds! An absolute highlight of the year had to be our Christmas Dinner! We were overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses in the village who supported this with donations of food. Huge thanks to Trader D’s, Ruddells Fruit Shop, The Mace, The Country Chippy, Eden Coffee House and Dewarts Service Station. With the culinery help of our volunteers we stuffed our faces with turkey, ham and roasties along with all the usual trimmings!
At the Basement we are deeply passionate about helping young people reach their potential in all areas of life. We believe a relationship with Jesus Christ to be central to this, and so it is something that is apparent in the DNA of The Basement, and is embodied through our relationships, actions and words.
We recently asked the young people what they liked about The Basement and here are some of their replies:
“I love the basement because it is somewhere where I can hang out and relax with my friends and not have to worry about getting into trouble on the streets”
“It feels like home, a place I can escape to and feel safe. I feel wanted there and so it is a place I want to be at.”
“It is simply just somewhere where we can go to see our friends, and the leaders are always very welcoming”
We are incredibly thankful to our 5 volunteers who help with The Basement Youth Centre , without whom we simply would not be able to open the doors! With their help, the young people experience the support of more caring adults through the challenges that come in teenage years.
Should you share our heart and ethos for young people, and be interested in volunteering with The Basement, then please contact Neil on 07745 534886.
If you are aged 11-17 and would like to come along to The Basement then you would be made very welcome on Thursdays 7.30-10pm!