Innovation Fund Feedback from our friend Tania at The Abbey Centre
The Abbey Centre was awarded the Innovation Fund to provide 39- weekly arts therapy sessions to local deprived families, children and young people by adopting a holistic family approach to target and support the whole family.
The After-School Club provided support from 13th of June 2019 to mid of March 2020 with sessions running every Thursday from 3:45 pm-5:45 pm at the Abbey Centre.
The aims of the sessions were to improve the health and wellbeing of the local families by engaging them in a meaningful activity that include arts and physical activities. The sessions were opened and accessed by local families from diverse of backgrounds including Somalian, Turkish, Albanian, Middle Eastern, Russian and White British.
As part of the After-School Club the Abbey Centre provided two activities that included arts for parents and children aged between 4- 10 years old and physical activities for children and young people aged 10 to 17 years old.
A qualified tutor was recruited to lead the arts sessions, who managed to use different art styles to keep the class interested and entertaining the children. The group learned how to make fun 3D animals from cardboard, ceramic tiles, animal face masks, making different shapes from clay, painting and drawing and many more interactive activities.
The physical activity group were led by a qualified Coach from Everyone Active, where the children and young people enjoyed indoor activities including table tennis and basketball.
Healthy snacks and refreshments were provided during the after-school club to keep the children and families energetic, focused, engaging, but also to welcome them and encourage participation.
Below are some feedback from parents and the children:
- It was very creative session, lots of materials, different colours, modelling clay, it was fun playing with it.
- Both of my girls enjoyed the physical activities.
- Very relaxing painting, every brush stroke on the paper helped the mind take a breath, I had lovely time with my children.
- I have learnt how to make snakes from cardboard.
- I have enjoyed working with sticky clay.
- I have learnt how to count the points in real tennis game and how to spin a rocket.
Tania reported that there were 82 unique participants, where 60 were children and young people and 22 were parents who befitted from the project. Total attendances for the whole project lifespan were 406.
Tania fed back: “All the families have worked successfully together regardless of their different religions and backgrounds and everyone has attended the class with a smile and enjoyed every session. This project is one of those that have been very successful in engaging with the most vulnerable local families”.
Tania also stated that an additional outcome came out of running this project. The Abbey Centre has now benefited from a newly developed partnership with London Zoo scheme to support deprived families to visit the Zoo with highly subsidised tickets. Tania said that they organised a trip for the families on 20th of February from 10:00 am -4 pm, which was a brilliant experience for all the families. The total visitors were 37 people including parents and children.
These are some of the feedback from the families:
- There were some best animals that I haven’t seen before. (parent)
- It was fantastic day out with my family. (parent)
- It was great day to see many different animals. (child)
- It was amazing to see many different monkeys. (child)