12 June 2015
Over the weekend of 5th-6th June, London Youth brought together young people, irrespective of background or ability, to listen, learn and most importantly, have fun together!
Building on the success of last year’s first inclusion residential, we almost doubled the number of young people and youth workers who could enjoy the experience of a fully funded residential stay, thanks to the City Bridge Trust and Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust.
What did the residential include?
- Over 5 youth organisations – Ab Phab, Action on Disability, Haringey Shed, Rathbone Society, and Streatham Youth & Community Trust
- Almost 30 young people
- Club staff and volunteers, London Youth Inclusion Champions and Hindleap staff all there to support and challenge participants
- And of course, 1 weekend at Hindleap Warren to explore the natural environment and challenge individuals beyond their comfort zones. There was archery, pool canoeing, obstacle courses and the zip-wire!
Each of the 5 youth groups also had the chance to get a flavour of Athan 31 where they could pitch for up to £100 each for a project they’d like to do to benefit their club. Time was spent sharing ideas and discussing how the final one would be pitched to a panel of judges.
Ab Phab members – some new and some have been there for more than 10 years – told us that their club was like their family. Located in a community centre used by many others too has meant that some of their equipment has been damaged. So they shared a succinct budget for how the full £100 could be used to purchase a new CD player, pool cues, pencils etc.
Action on Disability wanted to spend the funds on a welcome party at the new club building. About to move from their previous residence, this party was to celebrate a new era and bring together the local community. Their pitch included a tweaked version of their ‘group anthem’ that even had the judges dancing along out of their seats!
Haringey Shed performed a creative pitch with beat-boxing, rapping and acting. Aware that not everyone is able to hear the performances they showcase, members want to invest in sign language training for themselves so that they can make it accessible to everyone. £100 alone will not be enough, but Haringey Shed already have plans for how they will fundraise the rest, e.g. future fun runs or events.
Streatham Youth & Community Trust members want to spend £100 on new youth leader uniforms (e.g. branded hoodies and shirts). They shared how important the young leader role was at their club, and their own aspiration to one day progress into that role and start leading things in their club more, whilst also supporting other young people in the community.
Rathbone Society shared that they’d like to give their club a youth-friendly makeover and improve the walls, taking on more responsibility for their club building. They asked the judges to pick out one of four ideas: some new pop art, vinyl print, a youth club family tree, and a calendar of upcoming youth events. The judges loved them all!
Fabian, a 15-year old member pitching with his peers for the £100 said:
“The aim of the project is to make the youth club more better and personal. Not only to do that, it is to make the right choices and take honour, to be responsible and to meet new people and to do lots of fun things. It doesn’t matter that you’re different from everyone else. It’s how you continue your life and things you can believe in and achieve your goals. We all have challenges and may not believe in ourselves. Do not fear that you’re not going to do it, concentrate and you have to try and believe and complete your goals. And to always try and work really hard, and have the strength and the courage and the bravery and to take great responsibility and maturity for yourself, your friends, and your family and relatives and guardians and carers.”
We are very pleased to announce that all 5 groups were awarded the £100 funding! We can't wait to see their project ideas come to life.
A big thank you to all the young people, youth workers, and London Youth staff (both there over the weekend and working behind the scenes beforehand) for making the second Forward Thinking residential such a huge success!