Belvedere Youth Club originated when Belvedere Social Services assumed responsibility for two existing inner city Youth Clubs in 1918. Two of its founding members were Doctor William Lombard Murphy and Mr. Victor Plunkett. From this beginning it has grown into one of the largest Youth Clubs in the State.
Known as the Belvedere Newsboys Club until 1969, the Club ran a variety of Educational and Recreational Programmes, including Sports, Summer Camps, Literacy and Remedial Education, from a number of locations in the inner city. In 1972 the Club engaged its first full-time Director and admitted girls as members. Its name was changed to Belvedere Youth Club. Throughout its history Belvedere College through the past pupils union has supported and developed the club to make it what it is today. The Chairperson is directly appointed by the College union for a term of up to three years and it is he who is responsible for ensuring that we have sufficient funds to provide the services to the young people that we work with.
After several changes in location within the North Inner City, fundraising initiatives enabled the Club to raise the £650,000 necessary to move to permanent, custom-built premises in Buckingham Street. Facilities include, a Sports Hall, Gymnasium, Training Kitchen, Computer Training Facilities, Theatre facilities, ceramics and pottery, Recreational areas, Changing Rooms, and Showers. Belvedere Youth Club currently has to raise up to €200,000 per year by voluntary means and employs three full time staff directly. We sponsor a FAS Community employment project, which also allows us to employ up to 17 part-time workers. We currently have a membership of over 400 local children and young people from the ages of 7 to 20 years of age making us one of the largest facilities of its type in the country. The North Inner City is one of the most deprived areas in the country. There are a multiplexity of social problems such as high criminal involvement of all age groups, drug and substance abuse are among the highest in the country, low Educational achievement is accepted as normal for many families, and it has an extremely high percentage of single parent households. The incidence of H.I.V and Aids is also way above the National average.
The youth club is one of the most popular projects in the Inner City for children and in some families it is almost a rite of passage that they join the club that their parents attended when they were children. I myself joined the youth club when I was 13 years old having followed my two older brothers in and indeed my Father when he was a newspaper seller on the streets of Dublin over half a Century ago. It is this long tradition and History that makes the Belvedere Youth Club special and to this day past members (old boys) still return to the club for an annual retreat where they recall their childhoods spent in the youth club from Decades past.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
- To provide a Comprehensive youth Service to young people in the North Inner City.
- To organise Social, Educational, and Recreational Programmes for members.
- Through such activities to prepare those young people for their future.
- To organise Programmes that benefit the wider inner city community