2009 News

Blackie Community Group Association

The Blackie Centre Youth Club group joined the Belfast Computer Clubhouse for the first time early November 2009 as a four week pilot.

The group were introduced to the Avatar software and scanning. Avatar is face animation software; the members took photographs of each other which were then animated and given different voices. The group found this fascinating, the idea of virtual worlds and graphic representation of people within them, were discussed. Further Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher sessions followed.

Come January, the Blackie Centre will return to complete a six week project on Sonic Art.

87 Hours of Mentoring in Nine weeks

Mentorship in our Clubhouses comes in a number of guises. The trust tweaked gradually out is truly amazing to view, with relationships developing over time. Our PMs learn to navigate some superb software from our clubhouse members whilst the PMs guide our members through offering friendship in addition to providing support.

One of our guiding Principles "When people collaborate with others of diverse ages, cultures, genders, and backgrounds, they gain new perspectives for understanding the world – and understanding themselves."

Another Clubhouse Principle, "..in places where everyone's ideas and opinions are respected, people are more likely to take risks and experiment with our software and equipment – thus more likely to learn and innovate." We strive to encourage, appreciate and support our Peer Mentors. Staff and/or adult mentors are in attendance at all times to monitor or to offer assistance.

Michael, Paul, Christopher and other PMs will continue mentoring until April 2010 but then, they will need to take time out to concentrate on their own exams...

Click here to view the gallery

Welcome Martin!

Martin has just completed his sixth week in post and has been working closely with members to develop a series of Mixed Media workshops.

Martin has a strong arts and digital media background and a keen interest in experimental, performance and sonic arts. In his professional practice he worked with Paul Burwell, a well known experimental performance artist based in Hull, who creatively, was a great inspiration to Martin.

With a BA Degree in Film Studies and journalism training, Martin has sound knowledge of film based software and technology. The verbal Arts are also an area of inspiration for Martin, who has a lot of creative expertise to be shared with members and staff.

Martin hopes to "bring his experience of the arts to work with young people at the Clubhouse, helping them develop their creative potential."

So far, Martin has been a big hit with the Clubhouse members and a welcome addition to the creative team.

Cross Community Music Workshop

On the 19th November members from our Shankill location visited Springvale for an introduction to the newly revamped music room.

On the day, members were guided through the state-of-the-art digital music software, sampler and digital drumkit by Volunteer Mentor Martin, who helped set up the new music studio and share his expertise with staff and other Volunteer Mentors.

This installation of the music room has been very popular with members, motivating and helping them develop skills in digital music production and become tech savvy musicians. During the workshop we found a few budding pop stars who are looking forward to developing their talents. Watch this space!!

Buzz of the Shankill

Members of the Clubhouse traipsed down the Shankill with cameras to commemorate the 20th death anniversary of Buzz Logan, famous for his photographs of the Shankill in the 70's and 80's.

Facilitated by Mervyn Smith and Janice from Belfast Exposed, Clubhouse members mastered photographic techniques and captured the sights and smiles of the Shankill community. The 6-week Photography Workshop reflects Buzz Logan's commitment to introduce young people to Photography and making photography relevant to the working class.

The photographs will be exhibited by the Greater Shankill Partnership and a photo-montage will be displayed on the Peace Wall. You will all be invited to view the fantastic photographs members have taken which will sit side-by-side with photographs taken by Buzz Logan himself – so watch this space!

Click here to view the gallery

Volunteer/Mentor Event

The Event is designed to combine an introduction to the work of the Clubhouse, some training, networking, and diary planning for those of you that may wish to become a mentor. (Many of you have expressed a desire to volunteer evenings only, this may now be more manageable).

In return for a mentoring commitment at the Computer Clubhouse, exceptional training opportunities are offered, complete with a signed certificate for hours committed. This is an ideal opportunity for the CV.

The ""Volunteer/Mentor Evening" promises to be a great way to spend an hour.

Queen's University, Clubhouse Trip

Queen's University, Belfast opened its doors to 12 young people from the Belfast Clubhouse and 12 young people from the Clubhouses in Dublin and Blanchardstown on Tuesday, 27 October 2009.

Arriving fresh-faced and full of energy, the members had a glimpse of university life.

The Widening Participation Unit delivered the benefits of a university education and the varied fields that our young people can venture into. (Queen's Widening Participation Group seeks to introduce the possibility of attending the University to groups who usually would not participate in third level education). A trip to the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science allowed our young members to have a closer look at the field of electronic design, engineering and computing.

The Queen's Wider Participation group hosted a short audio visual presentation for the members, during which they were encouraged to ask plenty of questions about University life, and many seemed impressed by the range of subjects on offer, and certainly about the possibility of an international placement when studying language. Whilst some of the members have a few years before considering whether to go to University, the discussion certainly opened them to possibilities within life that they had not yet thought of.

The Welcome Centre set Sarah Melville-Watson, a 3rd year Drama student, on the mission of taking our huge group around on a tour of Queen's. A visit to the Student Union building involved lunch and members saw how university students can release the stresses of university life by participating in social clubs, social nights, or just lounging about in big sofas in front of flat screen TVs.

The visit ended with a demonstration of a Segway, and the braver members had the chance to use one within the corridors of the Queen's Maths department.

To everybody at Queen's who made this exciting visit possible and gave us such a big welcome, "THANK YOU"!

The visit to Queen's allowed Clubhouse members the opportunity to meet new friends and enjoy themselves, and possibilities of digital video collaborations were suggested between Clubhouses. This visit has formed the foundation of Clubhouse members visiting Queens. The next trip for February 2010 is already being planned!

Comments from the Members

"I feel happy. I learned about what I can do when I leave school."

"I learned about all the different courses you can do at Queen's."

"I made new friends and I enjoyed myself."

"I feel happy and I learned about Queen's. It was a good day."

"I enjoyed taking pictures and I learned how dear uni is."

"I feel happy because it was LOL."

Widening Participation Unit


Clubhouse Members have a Ball at Stormont

The magnificent black tie event, hosted by local MLA Basil McCrea, showcased the achievements of Northern Ireland's Youth through the presentation of awards such as Young Innovator and Young Mentor.

For one night only, the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings was transformed into a fire-juggling, stilt-walking, party-jumping rave, complete with local DJ and his dance troop.

The night was a great success for the Clubhouse which is celebrating the achievement of their young mentor, Christina, who was thrilled to receive a Special Recognition Award for her work at the Clubhouse with the Disability Action Group. A trip to Tayto Towers was awarded to the Clubhouse and Gerard picked up tickets for the Belfast Giants for his enthusiastic dance moves.

The night came to a close as the Stormont Estate was illuminated with a grand finale of a fireworks display.

The Belfast Computer Clubhouse would like to extend its sincere thanks to Basil McCrea MLA. Much appreciation to our Kate McKenna, Big Lottery Fund and Jilly Beattie, Daily Mirror for their warm welcome at the event.

Click here to view the gallery

Glenavy Youth Project Visit Belfast Computer Clubhouse

Though ASCERT's work is primarily around drugs and alcohol, as a community support worker, Alison is well aware that our youth can explore more positive images in their transition to Adulthood, so together, the Belfast Computer Clubhouse and ASCERT arranged a visit for September 22nd.

The Glenavy Youth Project members were collected by Springvale's new minibus and driver along with John Farr, GYP Community Outreach Worker and Maynard Porter, GYP Treasurer. GYP joined Springvale Clubhouse Jardim, 12 to 14 year old group and the Shankill's Mexico City group in the Springfield Road Clubhouse. As one may imagine, there was quite a hive of activity.

Clara Riveria, Clubhouse Assistant Coordinator (clara@belfastclubhouse.org) our CS4 expert, delivered a good sound introduction to our newly acquired CS4 Premier Suite. Our members used Graffiti Creator, scribed their own names, imported into Adobe Photoshop. Members then took their own photographs to import into their work.

Commonly, at the end of each Clubhouse workshop, all members are invited/encouraged to join everyone around the green table to share/view each others' work.Members seriously looked toward their peers' work as Clara wrapped the workshop up to applause from all the members for her great work.

Click here to view the gallery

NICCY Clubhouse Visit

Clubhouse Coordinator and members from both Clubhouses, were invited to the NICCY offices at Millennium House Great Victoria Street Belfast last week.

Members presented Patricia Lewsley, The Commissioner for Children and Young People, a specially prepared copy of their "No Limits" Summer Festival artwork. The Commissioner intends to hang our "No Limits" on her office wall, along with other treasured artifacts from younger people.

NICCY is running, across Northern Ireland, an opportunity for children and young people to snap what is good and bad about where they live. To be in with a chance of winning an 8GB iPod Touch, hurry and submit your snaps. This is part of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY), Patricia Lewsley's, ‘Play, Leisure and Things to do' priority the ‘Here we are… nowhere' campaign.

NICCY Photo's

Budding Belfast Computer Clubhouse photographers submitted entries, hopeful of winning. Clubhouse member Gerard tells his story of how he planned his snap and how his brother posed in a skateboard action shot.

NICCY Here We Are

Belfast Computer Clubhouse Children's Photography Competition 2009

The Belfast Computer Clubhouse is pleased to open it's first Children's Photography Competition in partnership with Community Arts' Forum, Belfast.

As part of the BCCH Arts and Digital Media Festival, children aged 16 and under are asked to express their ideas on the ‘No Limits' theme, through the camera lens.

 "Get snapping and go wild with your camera!"

Belfast City Council

Kudos Award

Gail Breslow, Director of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network in Boston presented the award and said - "Staff and youth from our Belfast and Dublin Clubhouses are drawing on their common mission to foster ground-breaking cross border collaborations that would have been inconceivable not many years ago. They have embraced a unique opportunity to transform the communities in which their members and their families live, and in doing do inspire us all."

Kudos Award

Shane Watts, Elizabeth Donaldson, Gavin Bryne, Janice Feighery picked up ICCN Kudos Award for "Giving back significantly to the community where the Clubhouse is located"


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