Enquiries, planning and preparation
''Tús maith leath na hoibre'' and setting up an Ógras youth club is no exception. Don't hurry, investigate, plan and put in the necessary work, and get help from the Ógras team. Here are some directions for you as you go about setting up a new club.
Where will the club be based? This is one of the basic arrangements. Suitable facilities are common enough, and often there is a choice of locations available. When you are trying to find somewhere suitable for the club, the priorities are that it have enough space to play games, that it is available at a reasonable rent (€20- €40). It would also be helpful if it had a stage and extra rooms, and that you would have permission to organise a céilí or disco.
'' Don't hurry, investigate, plan and put in the necessary work, and get help from the Ógras team ''
In the twenty six counties, you must go through the Garda Vetting process to work with a youth club. You can get the forms from Ógras. It takes quite a while (6-8 weeks) to complete the process. As it is such a long process, you have permission to start before the process is completed, but the form must be sent in first.
In the six counties, you must complete the Access NI process.
It is necessary that all club activities be covered by insurance. Often the community centre will have an insurance policy that the club can use. If not, the club can get its own insurance through Ógras.
It is important to get the story out that there is new Irish Language club in the area. Of course, it is always easier to organise a club without a lot of members, however you don't get the same atmosphere. Tell the world that the club is being set up. You can send posters into the schools and local shops, submit a story to local radio and newspapers and much more.
When you are trying to find somewhere suitable for the club, the priorities are that it have enough space to play games, that it is available at a reasonable rent
You can get training through Ógras, an Ógras officer can come and put together a 'get to know you' for the leaders.
The Youth Club
Now you are ready to start your own club. The club year usually lasts around 32 weeks. Be sure to get it off to a good start, and that the leaders and parents from the rota are present. Make sure that all members are registered properly and that their name, address, date of birth, phone, number for Next of Kin and basic information on any medical need the young person may have. Then there will be nothing left to do except the hard work of running a youth club, make sure to have a schedule for the next week and a monthly plan.
You should pick a night as a registration night for the club. New members and parents can come along, meet the leaders, and get to know each other. The objectives of the club, role of the parents and rules of the club can be discussed and the meeting times of the club, and a rota can be organised on the night also. You can get an Ógras officer to speak at the meeting as well. This meeting can also be used as an AGM for the club, a committee can be put together and a plan for the year discussed.
You can get training through Ógras, an Ógras officer can come and put together a 'get to know you' for the leaders. You can ask questions about administration of a club, plan events, money issues and the responsibilities of the leaders. The facilities, strengths, skills and weaknesses of the area can be gone over as well. Training courses are organised by Ógras in various subjects for leaders of our clubs throughout the year. Child protection courses, leader development, problem solving, courses in how to deal with young people and more can be taken. Ógras can provide courses before the club starts, or soon after. When an Óg-Ógras clubs are set up, the process is not as difficult, but it is important to be ready for the explosion of energy that young children have. It is worthwhile for every Ógras club to set up an Óg-Ógras Club.
Irish is the spoken language of the club. Even though full fluency in Irish is not required for membership, It is expected that all members will use the Irish that they have, improve their Irish over time and eventually gain fluency.
Bad language and misbehaviour are not permitted in the club.
Drinking and Smoking are banned in the club.
Ógras Policies must be followed, especially our child protection policy.