HAF WINTER 21
Worcestershire Children's First Partnership
Holiday Activities and Food Fund was set up to support free school meal families access a provision of free activities and food over the holiday period. Whether that be the summer, Christmas or Easter. The fund allowed AYOS to launch its pilot outreach programme with three venues across the Wyre Forest, to expand its reach to local businesses and connected with organisations that are operating in the Wyre Forest.
Over the winter, specific to this project, we engaged with over two-hundred and fifty children aged 5-15. This was a new step for AYOS in outreach delivery, delivering in multiple locations that are classed as in need. Previously we delivered outreach once or twice over the Christmas period, however we found that the community wanted more from organisations for the children and young people in the community. To this end, we experimented with HAF in the outreach theatre.
The venues that we included in our delivery included, Brintons Park, Meredith Green and Springfield Park. All of these are based in Kidderminster, one thing that in the next round, we will look to expand to more areas. Unfortunately, we couldn’t deliver in Stourport-on-Severn due to another high surge of covid in the community however, in the Easter delivery we aim to work closely with schools in the area.
Aims of the HAF project:
- Children to be actively involved in most activities
- Children eat / have access to a healthy meal during the day
- Children develop physically and socially during the club
- To create a safe place for children to be themselves
- Staff enjoy the work environment and are open to share new ideas
The staff team that delivered upon the aims of the project were mostly made up two months previous to the events delivery, and excelled in their roles. It was a new experience for us all, but what followed from the first day, laid the path for future success in the programme.
We took a different approach to distribution methods during the summer, this was mainly because for outreach delivery to work, there needed to be multiple community voices, to spread the work we were doing, posting flyers just wasn't going to get it done.
Through the support of the Friends of Brintons Park Christmas Fayre and their Facebook page, we successfully advertised one of the events to the masses. (Over 100 people on the day).
For the other venues we used Friends of Springfield Park, which we utilised a strong social media and flyer campaign for. For Meredith Green, we utilised the Community Church (which we have strong links with), the District Council and flyer drops to houses in the local area.
Delivery of sessions
Brintons Park was the only venue that we delivered a one day event at. The 2nd of January was the first event of the year for us. We hadn't delivered at the park before and so didn't know how many people we'd get, there was around 50 people on the booking system, which for us was a success, as we were able identify FSM children attending and prepare accordingly.
For delivery we worked with Unite TKD, Safer Neighbourhood policing and Stiklings to deliver next to the bandstand. We delivered crazy golf, which was resounding success with children, young people and adults alike. All of the organisations delivered expressed thanks, giving the opportunity to deliver in a new way, meet new people and enabling people to engage with their services, widening the remit of services for CYP post pandemic.
Within the session delivery, we supported young and old to come and take part in the community. Yes it was important to engage with FSM children but it was also important that we engaged with the communities, after all we are in this together and the more voices we can get behind our delivery, the better chance that the hard to reach CYP, will be reached. From the information acquired at the event, we engaged with over 70% of FSM children.
Meredith Green offered a unique challenge. We had never delivered within this community. It was the first step that we took towards our youth plan within the Birchen Coppice and Rifle Range Community. The first day that we delivered, we had around 25 engagements, we believe that people wanted to make it through to Christmas and so limited contact with others. After Christmas the numbers doubled and we engaged with a lot more children on the estate.
Throughout the two day event, we worked with the SNT, Unite TKD and Anthony Arnold to deliver a new event for the area. To us, though we engaged with lower numbers than anticipated, it was the opportunity to engage we a new audience and lay out the road for future events. Local Councillors expressed that it is a slow burn in the community, but once something clicks, then the community will engage. Time will tell and hopefully the warmer weather at Easter will create further success.
Springfield park offered some interesting weather conditions to deliver in. The first day was relatively cold, but we still managed to engage with around 30 CYP, on the second day it rained, but surprisingly more people turned out for delivery. We feel this was because it was after Christmas and the fear of catching COVID before limited peoples interactions with others.
Overall delivery here was good, the Café engaged with us on both days and we worked with Unite TKD, Anthony Arnold and Stiklings again to deliver a comprehensive event. The audience that we engaged with, didn't just help us to support CYP but also check in with parents and build better networks. The only way that the Outreach Delivery will succeed is to network with organisations, to build a strong network that supports hard to reach people in the community. In the future outreach engagements we aim to reach out to more hard to reach communities and CYP's
- Understanding the community and what activities they would most like to see for their children
- Community would like more outreach to be delivered over holiday periods to support CYP and reduce ASB.
- Supporting the purchase of new equipment to engage a lower aged audience
The winter programme would not have been able to have been achieved without the dedication that the outreach team have to the cause. Without their relentless commitment to work with children and young people, we would not have engaged with the services, children and young people and families over the Christmas period, and to that end CYP's may have been in a worse situation. We will always endeavour to trail new ways to working to deliver the most possible to the communities in the Wyre Forest.
Totals of activity delivery
Total Unique Participants 180
Total Session Attendance 253
Total Participants with Sen 2
Participants In Primary School 75%
Participants In Secondary School 25%
Participants Eligible for FSM 70%