Author Archives: susan794

New Big Kirk Hallam Annual Report 2014-15

Click here for our 24 page report to read about some of the changes Big Kirk Hallam funding has made this year. Look out for your hard copy being delivered soon! annual report2015 LOW RES (1)

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It’s been absolutely Dadtastic at Kirk Hallam Children’s Centre!

Kirk Hallam Children’s Centre has been working with local dads on a project called Dadtastic. Through the project, the centre has been able to recognise and promote the important role that dads and other male carers can have on their children’s lives.

With funding from Big Kirk Hallam, the centre has carried out further consultation to look at strategies to engage fathers from the community and has also looked at activities they like to do with their children.

The consultation showed that dads really enjoyed outdoor play with their children and wanted to have more large scale physical resources that could not only be used by them but also other families from the community. The centre was able to use some of the money to buy a large slide and 2 small trampolines which the fathers had a lot of fun putting together! They were also able to install an outdoor bug garden with giant magnifying glasses, a compost tub for a mud kitchen and an outdoor sand pit.

As a result of the funding, the centre has been able to respond better to the interests and needs of eight local fathers and their children. Attendance has been growing and is more representative of the whole community. Dadtastic is gradually making a real difference to the lives of local dads and their children by helping reduce isolation and engaging them in planning their own activities!

Here’s what some of the dads have to say about the project:

“New equipment especially the outdoor stuff is great; the sessions give us quality time with our children”

“It’s great to have a group just for dads. We feel recognised as being important in our children’s lives”.

The new group of dads is now planning a summer picnic and a dads-only cinema event to help promote the group and enable more local men and their children to be involved.

If you are a dad interested in meeting other dads and spending some quality time with your children, then Dadtastic meet every Saturday morning at 10am at the Children’s Centre. No need to book, just come along!

Kirk Hallam Children Centre hold Family Fun Days.

Kirk Hallam Children’s Centre has been planning a programme of seasonal fun days for local families to take part in through the year. They have been helped by parent volunteers who really know what works best in their community! The events are being supported with Big Kirk Hallam funding and are designed to offer fun, informative and educational activities for families to get involved in and to also try out at home. The events are also a means of ensuring that local parents are aware of and able to benefit from all the other facilities open to them in the area.

The latest of the fun days took place in April with the Easter Family Fun Event on 2nd April 2015. The event was open to all local families and was designed to be disability-friendly.

Magical Movers provided healthy music and movement sessions with an Easter theme.  There was also face painting, egg cup making, Easter masks, cress growing and a delicious buffet dinner!

After a day of fun, the children were also given goody bags containing more activities to do at home and also Book Start packs.

As a result of attending the event, some families were signposted to other support they might not otherwise have accessed. Parents said that the event had encouraged them to engage in other services available to them. They also said it had helped them feel less isolated and more confident in asking what else was available locally.

Parent volunteers who helped put on the event have been empowered to seek employment and/or plan larger projects and are now busy organising a larger scale Summer Event taking place on August 19th!

Capacity Building at Kirk Hallam Youth Club

As part of their funded programme of capacity building at the newly developed Kirk Hallam Youth Club, Enthusiasm Trust has worked with 14 individuals who have explored the opportunities for volunteering at the club. Eleven of the volunteers (5 adults and 6 children) have joined or remained with them for training this term. These volunteers commit to supporting the sessions taking place weekly at Kirk Hallam Social Club.

This is what the volunteers have experienced:

  • A brief introduction to Health and safety and safeguarding
  • Getting involved in consultation sessions with young people
  • Youth Club Delivery.
  • Attending youth sessions and developing their learning at each session through briefing and debriefing meetings
  • Delivered a Big-monthly youth club ‘Animals’ session
  • Participation in a staff and volunteer training away day

So far, the Enthusiasm Trust has managed to identify a group of people who are passionate and want to make a difference in their local community. They have assisted them to engage effectively with young people and have offered them training and on-going support. They have also recruited local people to paid positions with the club and have begun to train a new leader for the club.

In future, the group plans to strengthen links through partnership working between local statutory and voluntary groups. This will enable participants in the capacity building programme to achieve a greater impact on the lives of young people and their local community. They also plan to hold monthly leadership development days for the volunteers and staff where they will review progress and provide training.

Enthusiasm Trust are still looking to recruit and develop more local people with the right skills and who are passionate about working with young people, to be actively involved in the youth club.

Residents enjoy Big Kirk Hallam Community Lunch at local primary schools

On Fridays, members of the community are invited to join staff and pupils at Ladywood and Dallimore schools for a free lunch.

A group of Year 3 boys at Ladywood have been given the job of supervisors of their session with the support of a key member of staff. The boys meet and greet the guest and take them to the table, they fetch the guests’ meals and sit with them to have their own lunch.

The meal is on offer every week and the school now has regulars who come for every meal.

The mealtime is mutually supportive for the learners at Ladywood and the guests as the project has reduced isolation for the guests and it is obvious they enjoy attending. The learners at Ladywood also look forward to the responsibility and the shared conversation with the guests.

The school still has some places for new guest and they will be promoting this through newsletters and theme days.

As a way of saying thank you, the school is planning to take their regular visitors and the boys club to a local restaurant to have lunch.

Dallimore School has also been welcoming community members to join them to share a free Friday meal.

There was a busy start to the project at Dallimore, however the numbers have more recently reduced significantly and so the school is again opening the invitation to the whole community to join them.

The school currently has a grandparent who regularly attends the Friday lunch session. He then spends time with his grandson and friend, playing games and reading etcetera. This visitor to ‘Fishy Friday’ is made to feel really welcome by all.  He looks forward to his lunch and joins in well. His grandson enjoys the time with his granddad! The participant says the time with his grandson is invaluable and gives him a real purpose to his Friday routine. He misses the social interaction if he misses a session.

The numbers are lower than the school had hoped and so they have re-advertised and are hoping for more participants in this enjoyable and valuable session in the future!