The Hunslet Club January News Letter

Welcome to The Hunslet Club January News Letter! This is our new way to document everything we do and achieve. This will be published on the 4th of each month and will have a summary of our Hunslet Club highlights. The following post will be wrapping up everything that has happened in January!

The Biggest Youth Club In Leeds!

Our youth club numbers are on a steady climb as more and more young people attend every week! Each night when both junior and senior youth club are running, we have around 100 young people attend, who are all taking part in a wide range of activities and making new friends in a safe environment. Not only that, but as youth club continues to progress, we take up more activities. Now, on a regular night, we have football, baking, gymnastics, art, dance, table games, gaming, IT and hair and beauty. Then, varying throughout the week, we also have music production, workshops with West Yorkshire Police, dodge ball, hair dressing, DJing, boxing and fitness classes.

This month, in the return after Christmas, our numbers are climbing higher and higher. Wednesday is now our busiest youth club night with over 120 young people attending each time. The most important thing to us, is to ensure young people have somewhere to go on a night after school. It is a place they can call their own, access any support they need and learn new skills, all while having fun and making friends.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who makes this possible including staff, volunteers and attendees. The financial support we receive from local businesses, companies and The National Lottery Community Foundation also contributes to the fact we can do all of this for free. Having a free youth club and support system on hand for our young people on an evening is essential in ensuing everyone is welcome despite their background, home life and financial circumstances.

Jamail: A Youth Volunteer

Jamail, 14, started coming to our Open Access Senior Youth Club around 10 months ago when he was approached by a youth worker, after attending our under 15s football session. At this time there wasn’t much to do outside of school apart from playing video games and meeting friends. He explained that when he first started attending youth club it felt good to have somewhere to go, where he could meet new people. Before, it was hard for him to find things to do outside of school. Many activities for young people and teens in Leeds can be expensive, making it a difficult choice for young people to choose between staying at home or hanging around the streets, and using their pocket money to do an activity.

When asked about his favourite aspect of youth club, he had two. The first being the facilities including a gym, football pitches, sports hall, IT suite and games room. Here, young people are welcome to spend time taking part in activities or relaxing with friends for free. His second favourite thing about youth club is the community of people here. The majority of people who attend are young people of a similar age. However, we also have qualified youth and intervention workers who are always on hand for the young people who attend whether they need support with mental health, job seeking or issues with family or school. He explained:

‘honestly, here, you can talk to anyone about anything and you always need a listener in your life, when you’re in need of support’…’ for example, there was one thing that was on my mind and I told a youth worker and got to talk and get things off my chest’

After speaking to youth workers about wanting to gain work experience and move into the workplace, Jamail took up youth volunteering to become more involved in the club and gain experience to add to his CV. He went on to tell us more about his responsibilities as a youth volunteer. Stating:

‘you have to be focused on your job and the young people, because if you don’t interact they might feel like you aren’t there for them’…’in primary school, I had a supply teacher who was always on their phone and it was honestly disheartening but I want the kids to feel happy and make good memories.’

Like many at our club, his passion for working with and helping others means he has everything he needs to be a great asset within our evening youth provision. Outside of volunteering Jamail has also been able to participate in many more opportunities as a youth club attendee, such as trips outside of the club.

In November, our youth volunteers got to choose any activity that they wanted to do for free. After several meetings and discussions with our youth workers, they confirmed that go-karting was the most popular option. Jamail and 8 others got to take part in short go-karting safety course followed by two half an hour slots on the track. He explained that it was great to do something he would never usually get to do. Having these new opportunities has provided something outside of school where you can enjoy yourself in a light-hearted environment but also make personal progress by enjoying new experiences.

Staff Feature: Donna Hall

Donna Hall is our Youth Development Manager who is an extremely important member of the senior team here at the club with 17 years of experience. Her journey began when she initially came for a job as a support worker. After being turned down from the interview due to a lack of experience Donna became a volunteer. After doing voluntary work for 5 months and gaining valuable experience with young people, a regular role was allocated to her working Monday to Friday. This was a support role working with young people throughout our Alternative Education Scheme and other parts of our evening youth provision; helping mainly with support and emotional well being work.

After four years of working in this role there was an appraisal in which our CEO, Dennis, suggested studying a university degree. Donna’s application was accepted and she began her degree alongside working her regular job and being a mother of two. Despite the extremely difficult balance of home life, work and education, Donna graduated from university with a high grade at bachelors level. She is now a fully qualified youth development manager.

As well as managing both junior and senior youth club Donna also directs and works within our Activity Camp and Monday Evening Project as well as being an essential support system in our day time scheme with her expertise in emotional well being and support. Because of this, she is able to listen to young people and give advice on how to deal with any of the issues they may be facing. As senior member of staff, Donna can also report back after listening to the young people and find ways to improve our club, catering to what young people need.

Donna Explained that:

‘The most rewarding thing is seeing young people smile knowing that you are creating life long memories that they can look back on’… ‘also creating happy memories even when things at home aren’t always happy, the club can give you a sense of belonging and achievement’

As the youth clubs continue to grow, we now see numbers up to 140+ young people per night all engaged in positive activities or spending time relaxing with friends. Having the support system of our youth workers also teaches resilience, social skills and life skills, which are accessible through multiple workshops which run every week. Some of these include, one to one drop in sessions, where young people can speak privately with a fully qualified member of staff. Other workshops include our job shop where attendees can work on CV writing skills, interview practice and other workplaces etiquette. The Monday Evening Project takes this a step further as this allows a recognised level 1 qualification in catering, mechanics, hair and beauty or construction. This can put another step on the ladder when applying for apprenticeships, college or jobs.

Donna explained that although our Youth Clubs, Monday Evening Project and Activity Camp are brilliant as they are, there is always room to grow and get better. Going on to explain that this can only be done with time as we continue to grow and learn with our young people. We also need continued support from our community and local businesses/organisations to ensure that we can continue to thrive with the support of our community.

Hunslet Club Parkside Win The BARLA Yorkshire Cup!

BARLA Yorkshire Cup Final – By Guest Writer Phil Goodfield

Hunslet Club Parkside 32-0 Doncaster Toll Bar

Sunday 9 January 2022, Millennium Stadium, Post Office Road, Featherstone

Hunslet Club Parkside overcame plucky opponents in the BARLA Yorkshire Cup Final at Featherstone Rovers’ Millennium Stadium. Parkside kicked off to their south Yorkshire opponents in the crisp winter sunshine – in total contrast to the previous weeks semi-final which was played out to non-stop rain.

The opening minutes were nip and tuck, both sides anxious not to give the opposition any advantage but it was Parkside who scored the opening try on 6 mins, scrum half Craig McShane picking up where he left off a week ago and settling early nerves by darting over out wide from the play the ball.

The first ten minutes of the second half were crucial to the outcome of the game, Toll Bar having a second effort disallowed by the referee in the opening minutes, but it was Parkside who scored again when Stubley went over under the posts for his second try, again converted by Squires for 16-0. Two telling interventions from off-half Omar Alrawi lead to full back Dean Bowles going over for the next try on 53’, Squires adding the extras. Two further tries for Parkside went to centre Lewis MacMillan following good handling from Bowles and Westwood on 58’ and in the final moments of the game second row Harry Dodd scored a long range individual effort, which he converted himself for the 32-0 final score.

Coach Carl Briggs, a fourth link with the clubs previous wins as a player in 2011 and 2014 and in charge today thought his players were outstanding:

“After the terrible weather in last weeks semi-final the entire team from 1 to 17 did a terrific job against tough opposition this afternoon. A few nervous lads went out today appearing in their first major final and they all came through the test with flying colours!”

– By Guest Writer Phil Goodfield

Read Full Article Here:

Betfred Challenge Cup 1st Round

Featherstone Lions 6-56 Hunslet Club Parkside

Saturday 15 January 2022, Millpond Stadium, Featherstone

Joining 27 other amateur clubs in Round One of the Betfred Challenge Cup this weekend, Hunslet Club Parkside became the first team from the City of Leeds to progress into Round Two with a convincing away victory over Featherstone Lions by 6–56. The Lions were ultimately steam-rollered in a second half which brought 38 unanswered points through tries from Westwood (2), McShane (2), Will Cohen (2) and Shulver with 5 conversions.

Ascendancy was established early on in the proceedings when Will Cohen crossed on 5 minutes for the first of a hat trick of scores to the right wing, which followed soon after the early sin bin of a Lions player. A sweet lobbed pass from off half Andy Hullock created the overlap for centre Dearden, who then released right wing Will Cohen to score, Jamie Fields converting from the touchline. Four minutes later Omar Alrawi crossed, this time wide on the left with Fields again adding the extras.

The flood gates might have opened much earlier in the piece had a try by left wing Squires not been chalked off for a forward pass. Parkside’s third try of the opening 40 went to lively hooker Casey Canterbury who went over for an individual score on 25 minutes with Hullock converting. This brought the score to 18-6, the Lions having scored their first and ultimately last try of the match on 19 minutes when a high kick was well caught by their left wing.

Skipper Ben Shulver was very proud of his team’s performance:

“Today’s Cup win was a great first run out for some of us who haven’t played since last September. Before the game we just asked for plenty of enthusiasm and from 1 to 17 there was plenty of that, especially the new lads coming into the First team. I couldn’t have asked much more from them, and in conditions that weren’t the best to rack up a score like that was outstanding”.

Read Full Article At:

– By Guest Writer Phil Goodfield

Hunslet Club Parkside Through To Round Three Of The Challenge Cup!

Hunslet Club Parkside 22- 12 Stanningley

Saturday 29 January 2022, Station Moor, Beza Street, Hunslet

a healthy crowd on Saturday afternoon (29 January 2022) for the much awaited Second Round Betfred Challenge Cup tie, won by Hunslet Club Parkside with a 22-12 victory over west Leeds neighbours Stanningley.

Stanningley had the best of the opening period – a series of early penalties giving them good field position to be able to test the home sides defences – a test Parkside passed with flying colours. Having survived the visitors early pressure it was Parkside who opened the scoring when, following a drive to the posts from Harry Dodd, prop forward and captain Jamie Fields powered under the posts on 12 minutes. Jamie added the extras to his try for a 6–0 lead.

Both sides had their chances on attack following the opening score but it took until the 32nd minute for the next try when Hunslet scrum half Ritchie Westwood outpaced the visitors defence with a 20 metre sprint to the line. No conversion this time and it was 10–0 at the end of a hard-fought opening 40.

Parkside added to their first half lead on 68’ when Omar Alrawi’s pass put left wing Connor Squires over in the corner, brilliantly converted from the touch line by Jamie Fields for a try which proved to be the game-breaker for a 16-0 lead. The last five minutes of the match saw three tries, the first to Stanningley through Josh Adams, quickly followed by Kieran Webster’s effort for Parkside. The final action of the game seeing the visitors crossing for their second.

Parkside made it through to the next round despite being without full back and 2021 National Conference League Player of the Year Craig McShane, experienced half back Andy Hullock and powerful second row forward and club captain Ben Shulver – all unavailable. Their absence might have impacted the team on attack but if ever the mantra “defence wins matches” was open to question the teams fully committed efforts proved it true today.

The draw for the 3rd and 4th Rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup will take place at 6pm on Tuesday (1 February) at the Crown Oil Arena, Rochdale and will live on BBC Sport.

Read Full Article At:

– By Guest Writer Phil Goodfield

Wylie’s Letter From Arkansas!

In early January, we got a letter all the way from America, requesting a signature from Wylie! The Letter was from Ramsey, a mascot and signature collector. Reading Ramsey’s letter reminded us why Wylie is such an important part of our club and it was great to have him back! It has been so long since he last got to say hello to all of the boys and girls here at the club and we can’t wait to have more regular visits from him.

Wylie is symbolic of the spirit of our club. He always has a smile on his face which he spreads wherever he goes much like our staff, volunteers and members. He represents the crowd cheering at the sidelines and the unconditional support they offer in true Hunslet Club style. Named after the founder of our club: Dr John Wyllie, he reminds us of the long history we have which will always be remembered as we continue the grown into a staple of this community.

A big thank you to Ramsey for contacting us, it was great to see Wylie again because of your letter! We hope it gets to you in the post soon, all the way from Yorkshire to Arkansas!

Upcoming events

Imran’s Five Aside Fundraiser

As some of you may know, in early November last year, we lost our wonderful coach, Imran. He was an essential member of our team here at The Hunslet Club and we miss him dearly as someone who genuinely cared for young people and wanted to make their futures were bright. An intelligent and friendly individual who was consistent in bringing smiles to the faces of those around him. He always went the extra mile and took time out of his personal life to ensure the happiness of the young people he coached. That is how we will always remember him. We are so lucky to be able to say he worked alongside us at our club and we couldn’t thank him enough.

We dedicate this event to him and his family. A fundraiser through the sport he loved most, football. Over the course of the day, different teams will compete in 5 aside tournaments where one will be announced the winner. Players are welcome to bring along family and friends to watch them play and also enjoy our barbecue and bar.

This will be a great family friendly event for all to enjoy young and old, so make sure you don’t miss out!To register a team please email:

Half-Term Activity Camp

Our first activity camp of 2022 is going ahead this February half term!At The Hunslet Club Activity Camp, our top priorities are providing a safe space and ensuring everyone has fun making new friends. All children are welcome to attend as long as they are in year one or above. A typical day will starts with 5 or 6 different activities where attendees are welcome to choose which ones they want to take part in. This could be football, baking, boxing, arts and crafts, dance, outdoor play, indoor play, dodge ball, games, I.T and more.

On arrival, parents or carers must sign their child in, as well as provide some emergency contact information before we start the day. The day is then made up of around six different activity sessions for each child. This is split up by, a lunch break and several snack and rest breaks. Finally, at the end of the day, all of the children will also have the opportunity to join in on our Camp Disco. Here sweet treats and prizes can be won for the best dancing or party games. All sessions are led by professional coaches, dancers and youth workers.

All coaches have also been fully DBS checked, as well as having years of experience working with young people.Booking a day at activity camp has never been so easy. Every ticket is now available for purchase below. For each day there is a choice of three tickets, this is because you can also book a half day for either morning or evening if you aren’t able to make a full day. If you have not filled out a membership form before or need to update your details please ensure you do this on completion of your purchase. If you have filled out the form before simply add your child’s name and confirm that they in year one or above for each ticket.

Book tickets here: