Family Centre’s Summer Programme – A chance to meet new friends
This summer the Centre’s family services team ran a space-themed holiday activity programme for families living on low incomes.
Over 36 families attended, with 90 children getting to enjoy a range of inter-galactic activities, games, trips and film screenings between 27th July and 28th August.
The summer holidays can be a long, expensive and at times isolating time for parents who are trying to keep their children active and entertained. And this is especially difficult for families living on low incomes. Nasima is a mother of three, and she brought her two sons and daughter along to the Centre this summer. She admitted how difficult the holidays can be. “It’s hard at home in the summer because you have to try and find activities you can do at home which aren’t too expensive. The summer programme has been very helpful. It’s a way of meeting other mums. It encourages you to get out, and it’s suitable for the whole family.”
Her two sons particularly enjoyed making balloon rockets and the chance to meet new friends has helped them g
row in confidence. Nasima adds: “My children can be a bit shy with new people, but they’re starting to build up their social skills through meeting other children and their parents. They love it here.”
One of the great things about the summer programme is that parents get to take part alongside their children in the afternoons, and coming along has given them ideas for things they can do at home, or trips which they can take. Ameena came along with her two daughters and enjoyed the day trip to Greenwich Park and Observatory. “Coming along has given us ideas of places we could go, like here in Greenwich park, it’s nice and quiet. I will definitely come back here. The summer programme has been really fun, the girls have enjoyed it.”
Dylan’s mum found out about the holiday programme when she came along to the Centre’s jobs club on a Wednesday, and she enjoyed seeing how much fun Dylan was having with the other children. “This week Dylan has made a space suit and balloon rockets and he has loved playing football with the other boys. Dylan has made new friends, and that has been the best part of the summer programme.”
Seeing the friendships which have started as a result of the programme has been especially encouraging for the staff at the Centre who organise the crafts, games and trips which the families enjoy over the five weeks. Rachel Kent is a support worker in the Family Centre, and she was happy to see friendships forming. “The families have gelled really well, and they have been really lovely to work with. It is nice to see that the parents have also made friends, as well as the children.”
With term restarting many of the families will be returning to the Family Centre to enjoy the after school clubs which run during the week during term time. The sessions offer a safe place where children can do their homework, play games and take part in fun activities.
To find out more about the support available for children and families at the Cardinal Hume Centre click here or give the Centre a call on 020 7227 1667.