We planned 8 weeks worth of cooking activities for the young people to do in their sessions; the meals that they cooked were chosen and voted on by them the week before. We put the meals in an order so that the young people would learn more and more each week and be able to use their new learnt skills as they go along.
The young people really enjoyed learning how to cook from scratch, making carbonara, their very own salsa and gauc to go with nachos, making vegetarian dishes like halloumi kebabs, an so much more. We had multiple young people come back saying that their families loved their food and that they can't wait to try the next meal.
Being able to help the young people develop their basic skills and help teach them to cook was great as they might not get the information from school or at home. By helping them see cooking healthy food can be a fun activity instead of a chore, it sets them up to want to help out at home and to prefer healthy meals instead of fast food. We also made sure that the meals we cooked with them were done cheaply and simply - but still tasty! - so that the young people would be able to recreate it no matter their situation at home.
This year to bring awareness to the White Ribbon Campaign, we spent the week making posters in all of the youth sessions to decorate the youth room in order to encourage people to ask about the campaign and to provide information and facts on the posters.
The young people also made white ribbon shortbread that were then sold in a bake sale that week in our coffee morning - all donations went to Doorstep for the work they do with homeless women and families.
The older boys and girls went around the building to find statistics based questions about domestic abuse and White Ribbon, and discussed the answers as teams. They also spoke about what the difference between unwanted touching, unwanted sexual advances and threatening/aggressive behaviour was and why the statistics would be different for each.
The community also got involved and decorated plain white ribbons with positive phrases and messages. These then got laminated so they could be hung on our tree outside for all to see and read.
We're happy we were able to go back to Venn Academy and deliver our Healthy Relationships & DA Awareness & LGBTQ+ Awareness sessions over a seven session period. The interaction and feedback from the young people has been great! We've been able to tailor the sessions towards what we thought would benefit the young people in regards to how they might best take in the information we were talking about; whether that was through watching videos, matching up cards, or having them speak within groups and then to us.
The young people engaged really well and seemed to benefit from the sessions having learnt more about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Emma Hardy visited one of our older sessions with the young people during Youthwork Week. During her visit she played pool and some chess with all of the young people and was thrilled to sit and learn what they young people knew about chess. In turn, she taught them a few pool tricks.
The young people were slightly apprehensive when they first met Emma Hardy, but the conversations soon began to flow with laughs and cheers filling the room as she took part in a
fun game of pool and was an inquisitive spectator in a brilliant chess match between one of our fantastic workers and young people.
We were very grateful to be able to take the group on a delayed trip to York after having to cancel the one planned in the Summer due to some of the young people catching Covid. They loved the full day out; enjoying some great food, an escape room together, and a trip around York Dungeons - something none of them had ever done before!
We're glad to be able to take the young people on trips like these where they get to plan out their day and choose what they'd like to do and where they'd like to go; this is due to both the funding we're given and the relationships we build with the young people.
Girl’s Group Halloween party was scary fun this year! The costumes the young people chose where terror-ific and this helped make the session frighteningly better. They played all sorts of Halloween themed games such as eyeball treasure hunt, wrap a mummy and the dreaded balloon popping. These exciting games were followed by Halloween slime making and drop-dead-delicious pumpkin crispy buns and the young people enjoyed the jump scares they gave each other – and staff - throughout the session.
We've had a great time over the last few weeks with a professional coach and former Hull FC Academy player coming into our boys session and playing rugby with them all. They've practiced drills, played tag rugby, knock on, kick tennis, and more! We had a wide range of starting points some had played rugby before and felt pretty confident with the fundamental skills and others were just starting off never kicked a rugby ball and some where somewhere in between .
The lads have said themselves that they've learnt a ton working with Hull FC over the last couple of months and have really enjoyed the sport sessions. Even the young people that wouldn't usually get involved with sports have joined in more and more, and had a great time developing their skills and making new friends during the different games.
To prepare for Hessle Road Network's upcoming Talent Show 2021 we’d been holding rehearsals every week with the young people. It was great seeing the young people gain more and more confidence in comparison to their first week practicing, and you could see the dedication the young people had in their performances as they continued to improve and perfect their routines. It’s admirable to have young people with such talent and passion come to practice and want to represent Network in front of families, friends, and local popular figures like the Lord Mayor. Seeing the young people enjoy themselves as they practice was great and really built up the hype and anticipation for the final event! With a wide range of performances from magic tricks to interpretive dance, it’ll be hard to look away on the night!
The young people had an absolutely fantastic night, excitement and nerves were running high as they practiced in the hall as the other acts went on stage in front of friends, family, and local people of importance. The judges; The Lord Mayor, her husband, and Reverend Tony, were all extremely impressed with the effort and performances of this year's talent show and found it difficult to pick three winners. The 'Most Confident', the 'Most Entertaining', and the 'Most Creative' were the three awards given out by the Lord Mayor and the young people that won were super chuffed and couldn't believe it!
We're so proud of all of the young people for performing and pushing past their nerves, whether this was their first time in a Network Talent Show or a repeat from our 2019 Talent Show. We were also proud of Chloe for hosting the night for the first time and doing a great job of introducing all of the acts confidently.
Our volunteers on the night were fantastic and we couldn't have been happier to see Jamie give out her own prize - a voucher for 2 free singing lessons with a professional coach - to the young person she felt had put in the most time and effort into practicing their act. From magic to interpretive dance to singing ballads with young people ranging from 7 to 16, we had one hell of a night! We're happy we had such a great audience to showcase the young people's performance to.
We had hull truck theatre come in to both our community and youth sessions in celebration of ‘Lone Flyer’to create a range of colourful placards exploring what inspires people to exceed their expectations and asked the young people for stories that have inspired them or interesting stories that have happened to them.
It was such a fun activity and helped improve people’s confidence in themselves as they made posters that spoke out to them and truly inspired them. We had some great conversations come from this activity, especially since it was about inspiration. Our service users had all types of stories to share as well as ideas for more posters.
They'll be on display in the Hull Truck foyer until 30/10/2021.
The young people have been enjoying playing and learning how to play some of our old board games, specifically chess. We were surprised at some of the young people's enthusiasm since this game is often ignored and thought of as slow paced and strategic; but the young people have been using this game to exercise their minds for last few sessions! They've found a great use for the long pauses and slow pace of the game as they use this time to tease each other competitively and have loved the challenge of trying to beat the staff. Some of the young people were helping and teaching each other ways to improve and make the game more fun. The young people, no matter the level of mastery of any of the games we play, have found it fun as these games have helped some get out of their shell and given others the opportunity to share their knowledge and start a fun conversation!
Hessle Road Network is a company limited by guarantee (No 04360117) registered in England and Wales and a registered charity (No 1097519). Registered Office : Network Young People’s Centre, 1 Massey Street, Hull HU3 3LA.