Southern Housing Group funds kids club in Southwark
Southern Housing Group is helping to ensure learning in Southwark doesn’t stop when the school bell rings.
The Group’s Social and Economic Regeneration Department (SERD) has contributed £1500 funding to an after school pilot project, called Dawson’s Crib, at Dawson Heights estate.
Five volunteers, including two Group residents, will lead the six month pilot programme which recently celebrated its launch.
Focused on children aged five to14, the weekday sessions will be held at varying times between 4.30pm-7pm and feature a range of activities.
A trained coach will carry out football and basketball workshops while a qualified instructor will teach a variety of dance styles.
A practical healthy eating session will provide an overview of basic hygiene and an opportunity for children to prepare quick, nutritious snacks.
There will also be a reading club where children can share books, listen to stories and get help with reading.
The weekly programme will finish on Fridays with a three hour free time session where children can choose to participate in a range of games and art activities.
Southern Housing Group Community Regeneration Officer, Bhavnita Tejura, said the pilot was initiated in response to a request from residents for more estate-based youth activities.
“The after school club is an opportunity for young people and children who live at the estate to get involved in regular, fun activities which develop both their mental and physical wellbeing. Resident feedback indicated a desire for more youth activities upon the estate and better utilisation of the community centre so this pilot project aims to fulfil these needs.”
Volunteer and Group resident, Vernessa Bennett, said: “Being a parent myself I thought it was a good thing to get involved in. It will be nice to keep the kids occupied and give them something to do on the estate.”
The volunteers have applied for small grants funding and are requesting a contribution per child on a weekly basis to help cover resources and operating costs.
The project will be reviewed after a set period of time to determine whether it is a financially sustainable venture.
Bhavnita said the project was the first step towards establishing a proactive residents’ association on the estate.
“We have been working closely with residents to develop this project which is clearly a valuable local resource for families and children . We very much hope that this is just the beginning of further initiatives led and developed by residents themselves with support from Southern Housing Group in the background.”