By Kristin Caswell, SSK Session leader & Out Loud Music Project Coordinator
It's been a busy time for South Street Kids this term with trips, activities, creativity and fun. South Street Kids is a safe space for young people aged 8-12 to create, collaborate, activate, and engage.
Read on to find out what we have been up to...
On the first week of term we had a great gardening session with Jon and Linda from Eastern Angles. We had Perri from ACT join us along with a new young person signposted from the More Than A Mum radio project (cheers Kim!).
Jon and Linda invited the young people to share their knowledge and ideas around growing plants and flowers. After choosing and sowing their seeds the young people watered them and decorated their pots.
The new member seemed to really enjoy herself, having a dance with the other girls and telling her mum that she will not need to stay with her the next week, which Mum was very surprised and thrilled by, saying;
“She’s like a different child here!”
The following week Andi Hopgood came in to run a singing workshop and led us all with a few introductory exercises which were playful and met with appreciation and giggles. We then sang some songs together, taught to us by Andi, along with actions. We were able to sing these in cannon and were conducted by Andi.
In May, we had a trip to the New Wolsey Theatre, kicked off by a backstage tour from staff member Lorna. They got to explore the stage, basement and sub stage, backstage and tech booth as well as learn how all of the cameras work for live streams - some of them even got to have a go controlling the cameras themselves!
SM - "The trap stage was really interesting and epic"
Following that, the 'Blood, Guts and Gore' theatre make-up workshop was an absolute hit with the young people learning about the difference between makeup for stage and TV, all whilst having a good go themselves. The fake blood was most definitely a popular feature! All engaged very well and had a thoroughly enjoyable time..
AS- "I loved using the theatre makeup. I used it to make it look like a scar!"
In preparation for the Eastern Angles Jubilee street party, South Street Kids helped to create some bunting for the occasion. Two lovely ladies from Rock Paper Scissors set up two tables; one for making the flags and the next for the typography. It was a lovely chilled session where all young people participated and talked about their plans for the weekend. A’s parents also both spoke to us about how SSK has been amazing for A and her confidence has grown because she enjoys being with us, it was great feedback.
The Maple Park Jubilee street party was hosted at Eastern Angles from 2-5pm. We did a sweep of Maple Park and collected quite a few of the young Roma boys and girls who joined us for hotdogs and cake, as well as enjoying the throne and crown set-up and playing Roblox in the Eastern Angles homework room. Three other participants also joined with their parents for some queen-themed art, 'Guess the number of coins' and blowing up every last balloon to be found. Despite the drizzle we also went outside to listen to the Ipswich Reggae Choir and to sing the National Anthem - thank you Eastern Angles for a fantastic day!
June saw more community activity with SSK attending Inspire Suffolk's Field Fun Day!
It was beautiful weather for footie (lead by two of our wonderful volunteers) along with bouncy castles, sack race and egg and spoon race. It was great to meet The Prince's Trust and 4YP and the children bought lunch for a little picnic in view of the live music. A new brother and sister who we had met at the street party and had moved to England only one month ago came along. They discovered they attended the same school as one of our current young people, which was lovely to see them connect. The sister M said it was her first time getting a medal and doing the egg and spoon race.
A big thank you to Ipswich School for providing their minibus free of charge!
Also in June South Street Kids watched two child-friendly short films centred around the theme of Pride.
There was some discussion around what Pride meant and it was a very positive session with all young people showing open mindedness and respect.
Film recommendations were provided by Stella Frangleton the Diversity Communities Advisor for Suffolk Police, and popcorn was provided too!
Global Rhythms was another highlight - we had 15 of our South Street Kids attend!
K - "I loved being on stage and singing, rapping and dancing. I lived my dream today!"
Based in the Global Village they took part in the picnic, enjoyed the music, visited the playground, saw a clown and played football to their heart's content! We even had two participants jam on stage which was an undeniably special moment. We will remember that one for a while to come!
This July we also had Natty come in and do a beatbox session and was visited by Paula from Ipswich Council. K arrived again to show us some of his magnificent artwork, before Natty did a warm up with the young people around ‘boots and cats’ which they really enjoyed!
When asked about their favourite words, the South Street Kids made a spider graph to create a selection of words which were then used in an off-the-cuff rap performed by Natty which they loved. They then made their own piece of writing, poetry or rap which was shared with the ret of the group and nearly every child had something they were proud to share! L was very brave and sang hers aloud, it was a song she had made for SSK session leader Tulani which was very heartwarming.
For the Future Female Society festival we had 14 young people with us and 3 attending with their family. The young people took part in a short parade, starting at Dance East where they carried their homemade signs and percussion, chanting ‘Equal rights for everyone’ and ‘Festival today, Cult Cafe!’.
On arrival at the festival the young people were offered lunch which went down a treat (thank you Cult!).
K - "Wow, I'm doing so much I might even become famous!"
After eating they went outside to enjoy and watch the musicians, which they loved and made sure that they showed their appreciation by cheering and verbalising how good they thought the musicians were, which was well received. Activities included badge and key ring making via The Hold, as well as colouring, hair braiding and hair glitter! The young girls loved having Rosy with us and they sang a Romanian song with her in the taxi there.
For the last session of term the young people were asked to create some paper weights for the new ICM marketing materials, for use during outreach and engagement offsite over the summer holidays given.
They all made some amazing designs as art is always a favourite. The session was then wrapped up with a game of musical chairs and lastly they were asked to also write down what they might like to do at SSK next time. This, along with feedback from the Youth Steering Group, has given us lots of exciting ideas for next term - watch this space...
As you can see we've been busy!
ICM is a charity and we rely on funding to ensure we can continue to offer unique and enriching experiences for young people. ICM's work is rooted in creating with the communities it serves rather than for them. To donate and support a young person to access our projects visit our JustGiving page
Your support makes a really big difference!
Sessions start back again in September. SSK is FREE to join so if you know any young people who would like to take part get in touch!