; Behaviour

Imagining what might happen during a 'club night from hell' can help you develop a risk assessment, put safeguarding systems in place and improve programme planning, training, supervision and support of volunteers and relationships. The behaviour of young people and volunteers, parental involvement, relationships with other building users and your neighbours are all important to consider.

You could start by thinking about:

  • Conflicts between young people - these can quickly escalate if not dealt with appropriately.
  • Young people drinking or arriving drunk - could cause both a behaviour and a first aid issue.
  • Young people hanging around outside the premises before the club opens - this could cause noise for your neighbours, create a 'scrum' at the doors when they are opening preventing the sign-in process, and put off new or lone members.

All these issues are fairly standard at many youth clubs but the way they are dealt with is likely to be quite different.  Ensuring several volunteers attend Conflict Resolution training might help diffuse difficult situations. Having clear (and effectively implemented) policies on use of drugs and alcohol and jointly agreed Behaviour Agreements will ensure everyone knows what is acceptable. Restating club opening times and inviting any new members a little early may help reduce the difficulties that arise at the start of the night. Actively supporting young people to implement these systems themselves will help ensure a sense of ownership for their club.

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