This year has been a challenging one for all of us and here at Kids Kabin Middlesbrough we’ve had to think differently about the way we deliver our activities, but it’s been no less busy, says Project Manager Sue McBride!
What have we been up to?
During lockdown, we delivered craft packs to our families, which included scissors, a glue stick, pens, paper and card, as well as googly eyes, felt and foam, paint and brushes. This was then used by families during a weekly Zoom video conferencing session, so children could create along with us. For those not wishing to join the virtual sessions, all the instructions needed for kids to do the activity in their own time were included in the pack. We also delivered creativity kits for baking, fabric and woodwork with a variety of items for lots of projects to be made, both in our virtual sessions, and by kids coming up with their own ideas.
During the summer holidays we ran Covid-secure face to face sessions in the local schoolyard for children in Grove Hill, and thankfully the weather was kind to us on most days! On the days we did have rain, Zoom helped to make sure we could still run sessions, and it became quite a competition who had the best virtual background. We reinvented a lot of our games to make them work on Zoom. It didn’t always work but we had fun trying. We also bought a cart to make it easier to transport our activities and decorated it with the Kids Kabin flag to let everyone know who we are.
Going for gold
We held the Grove Hill Olympics where we went from garden to garden in the community doing ‘minute to win it’ games and together, families made an Olympic flag, Olympic rings and the Olympic torch on Zoom. Games included how many cotton wool balls you could get from one plate to another using just your nose and a dab of Vaseline to help them stick, transferring ping pong balls from one place to another using a spoon held in your mouth, and putting together a jigsaw of the Kids Kabin logo.
To complete our summer activities, we held the Kids Kabin Big Camp-in on Zoom, with kids making their own campsites at home with activities from the pack we developed, which included everything needed to build a campfire, make s’mores and hot chocolate, and there were lots of quizzes, games and songs. We allowed an hour for this but could have easily carried on all evening as this was voted the most fun by both kids and staff.
In September, our local primary school offered us more than 2,000 reading books that they were replacing. These were sorted by age group into sets of 10 and given to children in the local community. We worked in partnership with Sister Jane from Thorntree and Brambles Farm to provide food parcels and activities to families in the local area, including recipe cards and a Zoom cooking session for a healthy evening meal. Funding was provided by Feast of Fun and 160 families benefited from the project each week.
You’ve Got This Tees Valley provided us with sports kits to give out to families in Grove Hill, to encourage exercise during lockdown, which were gratefully received. And we’re now planning our Musinc project with Youth Focus NE, with up to £200 to help with the cost of materials to bring communities together and give young people a voice through music, as well as raising funds for Kids Kabin. As part of this, we’re going to learn to play the steel drums and write a song to perform at Christmas for our friends and families. We’ll also be making blessing boxes to be donated to a homeless charity and those who need them most.