& Holiday hangouts
After School is our opportunity to meet and make regular contact with young people, which means we are available when they need us. In 2018/19 we held 181 After School and Holiday Hangout sessions with 3095 attendances of young people.
Despite various staff changes between last summer and September, we were able to retain some new regulars as well as keep up with the old ones. We could not have run this club without our stalwart volunteers Jacqueline, Nicola and Jo. Volunteers are crucial.
From April, running a group with a particular focus at the same time as After School was trialled, and while successful and popular proved to be quite demanding of staff time. In the summer, the transition work was targeted at vulnerable young people, identified by their junior schools, who struggled with anxiety. We also extended the provision to older young people as the need appeared to be considerable, and we ran the Remind course for three different groups. We also had an incredibly positive time with EHDC taking a day to film a promotional video with our young people (it can be seen on our Facebook page).
In September, the way After School was staffed changed significantly. Whereas there had been a nucleus of three staff, the autumn saw the After School team expand, offering at least one different staff member every session. This presented challenges in maintaining consistency of approach and continuation of connection with certain young people. However, the benefit of having a range of strengths and skills from various staff and volunteers was recognised, and our young people had access to a wider experience of personalities and input. It also helped the team develop and tighten procedures for the project.
The new team brought new ideas and energy resulting in greater coverage of a variety of themes and topics. Another benefit from the involvement of more of the team in After School meant the themes and topics could be used throughout the rest of our work resulting in more cohesion within KA. Some ran over a fortnight to maximise the learning and many are listed here for your interest: Social media, Life skills, CV's, Talents, Staying safe, Code of conduct, Assertiveness, Belonging, Safety, Relaxation, Respect, Knife crime, Money, Friendship, Positive mental health, Better relationships.
M is a young person who has been regularly attending our open access After School club. They have been struggling at home because their parents have split and now live separately, talking disparagingly about each other to them. They find this upsetting as they would like their parents to be civil to each other and keep them out of it. They live between the two houses and swap each week which they find challenging as it makes them feel unsettled. They say they enjoy coming to After School Club because they can come every day and just relax and not have to deal with drama. They also say that it's a great place to be with friends and just chill because they wouldn't be able to invite any of their mates home.