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  • Writer's pictureWill B.

Thinking outside the building – how working together led to street workshops in Hartlepool

Hartlepool Borough Council's Family Time Team, which supports families across Hartlepool with physical activities and promoting wellbeing, worked with Kids Kabin this summer to take to the streets and introduce a new way of working.

The team had already decided to try something new to reach children and families in the Victoria ward, an area of poverty near the town centre, before getting in touch with Kids Kabin, after seeing big differences in family engagement across the town, with particularly low levels of participation in some areas.

Team member Louise George had heard about Kids Kabin’s bike trailers and street workshops, and it was clear she and her team had all the enthusiasm and skills needed – with ample experience in community engagement and activity delivery. They just needed to see a street workshop in action and be given a few pointers to make it all happen in Hartlepool.

You have to start somewhere

So after putting our risk assessments in place and getting things in order, Kids Kabin and Family Time came up with a simple, joined-up approach.

We ran two street sessions together – a bike repair walkabout offering free repairs and spreading the word about up and coming Saturday street workshops, and three days later, on the first Saturday of the school summer holidays, the Kids Kabin pottery wheel and smoothie bike were in action alongside Family Time's arts and crafts.

The sun shone and families started to appear. Children went off and came back with their friends. The programme was underway, and over the next five weeks, a range of workshops included basketball, treasure hunts, arts and crafts and more bike mechanics.

The Family Time Team linked up with other local partners and have now developed new partnerships, plans and ideas. Overall, more than 30 children and parents got involved and the team are looking to run similar projects in the future.

What now?

Louise said: “It’s easy to have a good idea on paper, but the difficult part is making it real. We’d have probably talked about it forever, but Kids Kabin showed us what to do by ‘just doing it’ getting out there and making it happen. The team has given us the confidence to change the way we work."

Family Time and Kids Kabin will stay in touch, sharing experiences and finding new ways to support and empower children and families. Congratulations to the team on daring to do things differently and for what it has achieved so far.


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