During the course of our daytime mentoring project it became quite evident that the majority of the young people we were supporting during term time would not and have not been engaging in any positive activities during the school holidays.
A decision was made to run a pilot scheme for a group of 6 young people who were identified and referred by social workers and other professionals.
The aim of the project was to give the young people the opportunity to;
- Build on social skills and positive interaction with others
- Gain a sense of achievement
- To help build self-esteem and self confidence
- To give respite to families in need
- To prevent young people from engaging in anti-social behaviour
- To have fun and enjoy themselves
The main part of the scheme was focused on a T.Shirt and baseball cap street art design workshop. “Simon Blingwear” a renowned Graffiti artist was hired to run the sessions.
For the afternoon sessions the young people had the opportunity to take part in off-site trips and activities, these included the choice of Bowling, Ice skating, cinema, park trips and a chance of a meal out at a restaurant of their choice.
All the trips were reward based so were dependant on the young people’s behaviour and engagement during the morning session.
The young people looked forward to having lunch together, which they helped to plan and prepare every day. The meals included Chcken fajita’s and a variety of personalised Pizza’s and salads. They were also encouraged to help set the table, prepare drinks and serve the food.
Sitting around the table for lunch was an ideal time for the young people to engage positively with each other and a chance for us to discuss the morning session. It was at this point that the afternoon trips were decided. They were given an opportunity to reflect on their behaviour and discuss as a group what trip they felt they deserved, as a group they were encouraged to help their peers to try to manage their behaviour as this would achieve a greater reward for the group as a whole.
The trips which they eventually were able to attend were a trip to Regents Park, Bowling and an attempted trip to ice skating, this trip initially was cancelled due to their behaviour on our way to the venue. The alternative activity was a trip to Finsbury Park where a meeting was held to discuss their behaviour and expectations around appropriate behaviour. Eventually the Ice skating trip took place.
All young people referred to the scheme attended all the sessions, they were all keen and eager to take part in the street design workshop and their enthusiasm showed as some excellent designs were created. The young people were excited about taking home their personalised T.Shirts and baseball caps and parents also commented how impressed they were with the outcome and how pleased they were that their children had managed to take part in this type of activity. Most parents also said that this type of project was long overdue and requested places for their children for the next school holidays.
The young people commented that the scheme should have been longer and were looking forward to the next one.