Our Child and Family Centre Mini Heroes Club and the Thursday Club both returned after the Easter holidays with a wet and wild start. There were several planning meetings which decided it would be good to bring both clubs together on the same night in the park.
The decision was reached after several phone calls to parents and much of the discussion was around the day, time and venue. We needed to cap the numbers at 30 due to staffing and Covid 19 so it was agreed the first 30 to arrive would gain entry, as there was a large demand.
There were many fun games on the first night and it was a joy to see the kids playing with their friends again in the park. It was important for us to let the children set the rules for the club, as they understand that boundaries keep them and others safe. There is a “God spot” each week and a biblical theme flowing through the club.
Many parents commented that they had missed this interaction and they were so happy to see the children expressing themselves and having fun again. Our primary 4 to primary 7 club is a transition club from our primary 1 to primary 3 club. The aim of the clubs are to provide a safe welcoming environment where children can be nurtured and developed.
Some of the children attending the clubs have been coming to this safe space since they were babies at the parent and toddler groups so they are familiar with the environment and the staff. This fun learning is in a Christian environment so they learn different bible stories and characters each week along with various other activities. The activities include games, arts and crafts, educational topics and music.
We feel it is imperative that the children eat together each week so a small snack is given out. The children then sit down and interact with each other while they eat. We also organise trips throughout the year and there is a residential getaway as part of the club.
The residential time involves them travelling away and doing activities together, working on problem solving and teamwork. There is also a progression from the primary 4 to primary 7 club into the youth group. There are volunteering opportunities for the kids who move into the youth group to volunteer at the primary 1 to primary 3 club. They work through a volunteering workbook and this builds their skills for life.
After the lack of activity through the latest lockdown it has been brilliant to see these activities restart.