After School Family Club

Our activities are aimed at meeting specific needs, primarily connecting resources to those who need it most. Our key aim is to create opportunities for people to build supportive peer relationships and interact positively with support services and organisations. Thereby reducing isolation and on Special Educational Needs support, advocacy and knowledge about how to respond to challenges, where to get help if your family needs food and safe places to be together which are friendly and fun.

Partnering with St Michael’s CofE in January 2023 we opened our after-school Family Clubs, run with parent volunteers. 30 – 60 children and parents join us in the hall for activities- craft, mindfulness coloring (which the parents enjoy), swing ball/badminton, soft Archery, Giant Jenga/Connect Four/Snakes and Ladders, lego and table football. We serve free healthy snacks/drinks. On Thursdays we have a monthly Supper Club, a healthy community meal prepared and served by school staff and volunteers for over 100 people.

Volunteers help plan the craft and serve refreshments, monitor the activities. School staff drop in to chat informally, building positive relationships. Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies are supporting us with 12 weeks of Craft Activities and a worker each week. The hall is full of people, all busy and moving around the activities. Parents chat together and their children enjoy seeing their friends and siblings.

This project has been vital in developing peer connections, sharing situations, knowledge, and resources. People are affirmed and empowered by each other’s support. Families living in refuges/hotels/inadequate housing can spend time away from their rooms and have food and diversions. It’s been a brilliant way to connect resources and information with those who need it. A group of mums have asked for help writing a CV, so we are having a CV party, another group wants to run our Community Food Cupboard during the Family Club and so on. It’s been important to bring people together so we can all benefit from the connections and shared knowledge.

One of our regular participants at Family Club, an 8 yr old girl, commented “Look at this! There’s so many people here. Do you remember when we started and there were just a few of us. Now look, I’m happy so many people are coming.” She had been there from the first club and helps me set up and organise. She knows she has been key in making this happen and is excited to see her community turning up. We have been amazed at the high numbers attending hub activities and want to ensure we can sustain and build on our current projects and community engagement.