Escape and Future are age-specific evening sessions offering time out with friends as well as opportunities for discussing current youth issues. In 2019/20 we held 45 sessions with 343 attendances of young people. Unfortunately 4 sessions were missed due to COVID-19.
We run two evening groups in Petersfield - Escape which is aimed at the older age range Years 10 and 11; and Future which is aimed at Years 7, 8 and 9. Unlike the After-School club where young people tend to flow in and out, the young people who attend the evening groups stay for the entire session, meaning we have more time and opportunity to deliver
group activities using the 3 crowns framework.
Our numbers this year were slightly lower than in 2018/19 as the Friday night sessions finished the previous December, with only Future running in the summer term of 2019. We reviewed the structure of these Friday night sessions and assessed what worked well and what didn't. From that we created a new Escape group with more structure, giving the group a focus and something to work towards in addition to a place for them to have fun, express and challenge themselves.
This new Escape group was launched in October 2019 for year 10+. This time we had the emphasis and aim for it to be for upper school students who are willing to contribute to The King's Arms and the community. There would be 3 types of session, which we rotated:
1. Junior Volunteer training - a time to encourage the young people to get involved with being role models for The King's Arms and to develop the skills needed to be a junior volunteer; those skills can be used for both volunteering with KA and also in future for other groups and agencies.
2. KA New World - we always listen to our young people, but this is a dedicated time to hear their voices and provide them with the opportunity to input into the future of The King's Arms both with the new buildings and what we will deliver in the future.
3. Social - KA is about fun as well as support, so these sessions are a time to build friendships, have a laugh and provide our young people with a space to be themselves and enjoy life, this included a trip in February half-term to Portsmouth Flip Out.
The Tuesday night Future groups have carried on throughout the year and a new group of year 7's joined in September, they settled in really well and the group has gelled. Some of the members from the Escape group have joined Future as Junior Volunteers; they have been a great addition to the team and have developed their skills week on week. This flow between the two groups has been really successful, impacting members of both in a positive way. Unfortunately our final term was cut short by COVID-19.
Transition into Year 7 was an unsettling and
scary time for C; they had a tight friendship group at junior school, however, this was split when they attended different secondary schools. C felt isolated, withdrawn and found it hard to make new friends. At a time when everything was changing, The King's Arms was C's constant. The evening sessions enabled them to meet their friends from junior school and share their new world experiences, work through any challenges they faced during the day and combatted that feeling of isolation that they were initially experiencing. This consistency and security impacted them in a positive way; it gave them more confidence in their new school setting and they began opening up and creating new friendships whilst maintaining their previous ones. They turned their negative
feelings into a more positive focus and their mental health improved as a result. C was a great example of the integrity of the Three Crowns framework - Greater Emotional Resilience, Increase Self-Esteem and Better Positive Relationships - as their story features all three crowns.
THE FULL REPORT AND ACCOUNTS
Want to know even more detail? Including the Chairman's comment, how we are funded and how we spend that funding?
Our full report and accounts can be downloaded from the Charities Commission website.