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Posted On: 2nd Oct 2013

Youth Club Fix on UTV

Fixers standing outside the youth centre
Portadown F.C. Striker Kevin Braniff
Youth Worker Carrie Kane

A group of Belfast Fixers want to breathe new life into a disused, derelict plot of land, by turning it into a communal football area for younger generations to enjoy.

 

Their story was broadcast on UTV Live on Wednesday 9th October.

 

Led by Shannon Crone and Daniel McArdle (both 17) the group are keen to find an outdoor space for members of their youth club to use and feel the vacant lot would benefit from being developed in this way.

 

The Fixers are members at the Matt Talbot Youth Centre in Moyard Parade, which has no external facilities.

 

With the nearest public sports hall almost a mile away, the group hope they can use the adjacent land as an extension of the youth club.

 

‘We have 50-80 kids every night, so we have to try and find different things to occupy them. We’ve actually lost some members because they’re getting bored being inside,’ Shannon explains.

 

‘I really hope that we do get the land and it’s successful for our younger generation, because I know what it’s like to be stuck in here and I don’t want that for them.’

 

Also supporting the Fixers’ campaign is Portadown F.C. striker Kevin Braniff, who came to the centre regularly growing up.

 

‘When I used to come to the youth club, I was here every night. The outside facility was what you looked forward to; going out and playing 5-a-side and things like that, that was always the best part of my night.’

 

Youth worker in charge at the centre, Carrie Kane, says the addition of an outdoor space would be positive for the youth club.

 

‘The young people in this area get involved in many things around here. There’s high tension, in the summer months the young people would be involved in stone throwing across the divide - it is an interface area,' explains Carrie.

 

‘Therefore, we do really need the outdoor space. Young people need something that they can come into, that keeps them off the streets, and away from trouble and anti-social behaviour.’

Author: N. Farooq

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