Key Fund is an organization who ‘believes all young people have the power to be great’. They provide money for young people so that they are able to plan activities and gain skills that are not taught within school.
Busola Afolabi, our Clubs Coordinator and Key Fund facilitator has been working with three groups of children with three very different ideas. Part of the Key Fund process is getting to name your own group; Iballistic Squid, Hipsta Chix and Jaguar were formed.
Iballistic Squid can be located at our Blakelaw Learning Hub. After organising a ‘Random Inside Out Party’ as an end of year event, inviting everyone who attends the Learning Hub for their first stage, this term they moved on to arranging a trip out to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Newcastle Theatre Royal. They had to pick a date, get parent’s consent and sort out the transport there and back (two buses full of children, staff and volunteers!).
Hipsta Chix and Jaguar, located at Walker Technology College Learning Hub kept their groups small. Hipsta Chix, an all-girl group decided to have a traditional girly trip out, a trip to the nail bar for a manicure, a meal and the cinema.
Jaguar, an all-boy group this time planned a trip a bit further afield – Lightwater Valley! After sorting out all the serious stuff like transport and parent permission, they were able to spend a full day at the theme park that was both ‘funny and scary’. Click on the PDF document to read their own blogs about their project.
Giving children and young people a slight structure but the freedom to pursue their own interests is a great way to motivate them to think, plan and self-evaluate their skills in order to grow and develop. There are four stages that they must climb. In order for the panel to accept their idea and progress through the stages, they must push themselves even further every time. The third and fourth stage is all about giving something back; their idea must be community-based, benefiting them in some way. To complete their project, the group must write a blog. The blog below in particular shows the processes that the young people work through and different skills that they are supposed to develop through doing this are clearly shown e.g. negotiation, problem solving, planning time and energy, evaluating strengths and weaknesses etc.
‘First we wanted to go to a spa. However after we saw the prices it wasn’t worth the money; it was £60 per half an hour. So we decided to do something similar but cheaper. We decided to get our nails done because it would be relaxing and it would last a long time. The nails cost £180, so we had £70 left. We used that money to go to Pizza Hut and the cinemas. We chose Pizza Hut because it was a buffet so we could eat as much as we wanted and we chose cinemas because we wanted to watch Maze Runner. We chose this film because the movie looked interesting and adventurous. On the Wednesday we went to the cinema and Pizza Hut. On Friday we went to get our nails done. After getting our nails done we went to McDonald’s but we paid for that ourselves . Overall it took us 2 weeks to plan it because we only had time on a Friday afternoon. We went to the cinemas on a Wednesday because we could get Orange Wednesday deals. The deal was, buy one get one free. We got there by bus because it was the easiest way and it was also cheaper.
The experience was nice because I love food, especially pizza. I liked getting my nails done because they looked nice and they lasted quite long (2 weeks). Two weeks is actually long for me because last time when I got my nails done they lasted about 5 days. I beat my personal record!
The film was amazing as I was scared but I was also charmed because the main actor was incredibly good looking (attractive). His name is Dylan O’brien but in the movie he was called Thomas.
Next time I am going to take more time to plan the panel. Next time I personally want to go to a theme park with big massive rides so I can challenge myself and also my friends.’ (Sofia, Walker Technology College)