Work with Children and Young People
We have been delivering activities and opportunities for children and young people since 2002. All programmes of work are well attended and well supported by parents and carers. We regularly review programmes of work to ensure they are meeting the often changing needs of children and young people. Current provision includes……….
Centre Based Youth Clubs
Young people aged 12-19 have use of the Centre three evenings/week. It’s a safe place to meet up with friends, listen to music, have a game of pool, have a chat with youth workers or get involved in different organised activities.
Out of School Programmes
Monday to Friday 4.30pm – 6.00pm and Saturday mornings. Activities include cookery, multisports, console games, board games, arts and crafts and team challenges.
School Holiday Activity Programmes
Lots of exciting activities for children and young people of all ages during school holiday periods. Activities can include environmental projects, cookery workshops, woodwork workshops, fitness and sports sessions, movie nights, arts and craft sessions, and offsite activities such as LaserQuest, snow tubing, trampolining, ice skating, beach bbq’s etc.
Junior Task Force
Children and young people can become involved in a range of different activities to help improve their local community. Previous activities have included community clean ups, organising social activities for the elderly, running campaigns to promote recycling, collecting donations for local good causes, i.e. homelessness projects, food banks etc.
Outreach Youth Work
Our youth workers work out on the streets of the Doxford electoral ward, making contact with young people who may not access Centre based youth work provision. The role of the youth worker is to provide information and support to young people on issues of importance to them. We frequently signpost and support young people to access services and opportunities available to them.
Drop In Information & Support
Our youth workers are always available to provide young people with a listening ear. Sometimes young people need to sound off or need guidance on how to deal with an issue that’s troubling them. We provide young people in crisis with 1-1 support sessions and help them to access other, more specialist services and opportunities when needed.
We have an active Youth Committee, whose members are drawn from the different young peoples’ groups that meet weekly. Committee members, who are aged 10-19, have responsibility for ensuring the voices and opinions of young people are heard and acted upon when decisions are being made. The group meets monthly and is facilitated by a young person who has volunteered in the out of school clubs and youth clubs for many years. The group has a direct link into bi-monthly Management Committee meetings.
Young Volunteers Project
For many years we have encouraged and supported the involvement of young people in the delivery of our children and young people’s activity programmes. Many of our volunteers are young people who have previously attended our activity sessions as participants, and as they get older, want to give their time to ensure children can enjoy similar experiences to them.
Young people can start volunteering from Year 10 in school. We encourage all volunteers to participate in Leadership training activities. Volunteers over the age of 16 also receive accredited training in First Aid, Safeguarding and Health and Safety. They also have opportunities to work towards a Level 2 youth work qualification.
In addition to our regular volunteering team, we also provide
- work experience opportunities for young people
- placements for young people who are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award or similar
- Placements for college and university students
Volunteers are able to get involved in all aspects of our programme from working with children, litter-picking, helping out at events, to serving lunches in our weekly lunch club.
Good Vibes Project
Working in partnership with Sunderland All Together Consortium and with funding from the Community Fund and Ballinger Trust, we are able to provide young people aged 10-19 with a safe space to meet with friends, access to activities and resources, one-to-one support, and rapid access to professional counsellors. The Project runs all year round with one session dedicated to 10-14 year old’s and another for 15-19 year old’s.
We organise an annual volunteering trip to Gambia for young people aged 15 and over. We encourage young people to raise the funds needed to participate in the experience which involves them working as a group for one year leading up to the trip, developing skills in organisation, planning, communication, working as a team, enterprise, leadership, negotiation etc. Whilst in Gambia the group will complete a project that enhances the quality of life for the Gambian community. Past examples have included building a toilet block and installing hand washing facilities, renovating school classrooms, working to improve local environments, ie community gardens, beaches, sports areas etc. Alongside their practical project, young people live within a Gambian community, participate in activities with Gambian young people their age and learn about their culture, day to day living, experiences of health, employment, education and religion.
This programme of work provides young people with potentially life changing experiences and can help shape their aspirations for the future.
We are an active member of Streetgames UK, and we lead on their volunteer development programme in Sunderland. Streetgames provides training opportunities for our young volunteers and provides support and funding that enables us to incorporate good quality sports development opportunities into our work programmes.
We are a member organisation of The Key organisation, which means we can support groups of young people to design their own projects and apply for funds to complete their projects, whilst developing essential life skills. Past Keyfund projects have included youth outings, music and fitness events, a camping residential and several fundraising activities for different charities.
Work in the Community
Our organisation couldn’t run without the support and commitment of our volunteer workforce! We provide lots of different volunteering opportunities for people of all ages. If you have a skill you want to share or a burning desire to help other then please get in touch – all volunteers are DBS checked and must complete safeguarding training.
Work with Adults with Learning Disabilities
Our Friends Together Group runs two nights/week providing members with a safe and relaxing place to meet up with friends, dance, play pool or do arts and craft activities. Every month we organise a very popular themed party night!
One morning each week (10am-1pm), our Stepping Out group provides supervised activity sessions for members. They enjoy going out in the minibus to local places of interest and can return to the Centre and enjoy having lunch.
Our experienced workers also provide support and information to parents and carers.
Go Online Project
In partnership with Sunderland City Council, we offer local residents support to become more IT savvy! This can include support on how to use apps on phones/tablets, how to make best use of the internet, how to communicate online using Skype/WhatsApp etc. Support is also provided to local residents who require support for Universal Credit Claims or who need to apply for jobs online.
East Rangers Project
Groups of volunteers (all ages and backgrounds) are recruited to work alongside trained Rangers to maintain local community spaces, i.e. Doxford Park, Blakeney Woods, and playing fields keeping them free from litter and ensuring they are attractive for the whole community to enjoy.
Lend a Hand Project
We provide a gardening and basic home maintenance service for elderly residents and residents who have learning and/or physical disabilities. The service operates on a not-for-profit basis and thereby ensures that residents have access to affordable services that are timely and are carried out by trustworthy staff. Many residents also gain satisfaction from supporting a local charity!
Our service also supports adults who have learning disabilities/issues with mental health to gain invaluable work experience, develop confidence and new skills whilst working out in the community.
Community Lunch Club
This activity was established to address social isolation amongst elderly and disabled residents who had experienced social isolation throughout lockdown. Residents are able to come together every week at the Centre and enjoy a hot, two course lunch with neighbours and friends. After lunch they have the option to play bingo or sit and chat amongst themselves.
Dinner 2 Door
During the pandemic, in response to referrals via the City Council helplines, we began delivering shopping to elderly residents. It became apparent that some of our elderly neighbours were unable to shop and cook for themselves. We talked to residents about how we could help and after listening to them we decided to set up a local lunch delivery service. On three days of the week we prepare and deliver a hot two course lunch to housebound residents. For the majority of people we deliver to, our volunteers are often the only human contact they have that day and they look forward to having their meal delivered and a friendly chat.
Food Support Project
This is another service that was set up to support local families who were struggling during the pandemic. Families on low incomes are able to call into the centre once a week to collect essential grocery items. Food is donated by Fareshare, Morrisons supermarket and by other local residents on a weekly basis. As part of this project we have provided recipe cards and ingredient packs to families to encourage them to make nutritious meals at home. The project is run by a Community Support Worker who also provides service users with a listening ear, alongside support and information across a range of issues. Often residents are signposted together services to ensure they are accessing all of the support available to them.
We facilitate a weekly drop-in session for men to provide support and promote positive mental well-being. The group is self-directing and members decide upon what they do in the sessions. Some weeks, the group may have a game of cards or dominoes, whilst chatting over a cuppa. Other weeks they may organise to go out in the minibus and walk along the beach. One to one support is provided outside the weekly sessions for men who are experiencing specific issues. Workers also provide a signposting service to ensure members can access other services available to them.