Watching & waiting

Drop-in is still closed for all-comers at Close House. Although it is permitted by the government, we are still very aware that fresh air is the safest place for teenagers, especially while infections and hospital admissions are rising for 11-15s, and we don’t want to make people ill. We will be opening in a week or two when regular testing has become routine again, and when we can honestly say that it’s safe to go back in the water…

At our outreach projects we’re handing out LFTs, and playing outside as much as possible while the warm weather lasts! Close House art group and food group will start soon, and music will follow in October! Winter’s coming, but we won’t be hibernating this year. Kettle’s on.

The Cup’s always HAF full

This summer, Close House was given over the Holidays, Activities and Food programme, lead by by Herefordshire Council. Any young person in the county was able to access a free healthy lunch and inspiring activities, and lead to us making a whole bunch of new young friends. From Geo-caching to lazer tag, painting, poetry and photography, we’ve walked most of the City and eaten our way through the rainbow. It’s been a welcome window of good, clean fun that’s introduced a new generation to how fun life can be.

Holiday Activities & Food

Throughout the Summer, from July to September, Close House is part of the Talk Community HAF Program. Young people aged 11 – 16 can book a day, 10:30 – 2:30, and join us for a fresh lunch, creative tasks and sporty run-outs.

Click the link below to book. Be warned, every day so far we have been over-booked, and priority will be given to those on Free School Meals. Please be patient, and get in touch if you need us.

Any problems, give us an email on admin@closehouse.org.uk

COVID STUFF
In order to be super-safe, we’re asking all participants to take a Lateral Flow Test before they come along to Close House, and always bring a mask and a water bottle.

Openish

The current Government guidelines don’t allow Drop-in as normal, but young people can still come and see us. We can do one-to-ones, bubbles groups (family or school bubbles), or support groups. We have to wear masks (at all times), track & trace, gargle sanitiser, wear a helmet & keep 1m+ distance.

All you have to do is give us a message on the instagram or facebook. Give us a couple of days notice, because we’re out-and-about baking up some epic summer plans!

No gang signs

3rd lockdown’s a charm

Probably the hardest lockdown yet! With most of the youth workers on furlough, the winter months dragged on. With Drop-In sessions closed, Tammy led the EPICs to the Kindle Centre, to partner up with Mandy and the Lou & Pat from Growing Local. For years, the EPICs have helped serve lunches to the Kindle Lunch Club, and after hearing that they were doing deliveries to their locked-down friends, we were on board!

The Kindle Centre have so far delivered over 1280 lunch packs to over 80 local residents, and the EPICs of South Side are proud to be a part of it.

Mandy (Kindle) with EPIC Alex

Seasons Greetings

We make our own Christmas art each year, and print it on a card to send to our partners, supporters and friends. It’s a really nice way to look back on the year and remember all the great experiences our young people have had, and to connect with people that we haven’t caught up to.

If you want to reach out and say hello, a Christmas Card to the young people at Close House is always welcome!

Grab your soapbox

We do lots of projects to give young people a voice. Sometimes, they don’t really know what to say, and they need space to think and develop their opinions. This week we’ve been supporting the Hereford City Youth Council to make their platform bigger, so that more youth can have a say, and start to take control of the City’s future.

If you know a teen with some ideas and the energy to get them started, get them to join the Youth Council.

Lockdown 2.0

Drop-in will be closed until December to honour the UK lockdown, and get a grip on this stoopid virus. Let’s do it properly and pave the way for a normal and peaceful Christmas!

The youth workers will be working at Close House, doing lots online and keeping things positive and creative. If you know young people who are starting to get bored or lonely during lockdown, get them to give us a follow on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Tik Tok… It’s all about keeping connected and being community.

We are still able to do one-to-one sessions and EPIC volunteering, all on a Covid-safe basis following the guidance from the National Youth Agency, so if you know a Young Person coming in to see us, you know it’s safe and all above board. The staff are spreading out in the office, so give us a call if you’re worried about someone. We can do music, art, food or chatting on a small scale for anyone who’s struggling or needs a break from pressures at home or school.

We won’t be accepting groups. Guidance says you can do socially distanced exercise outdoors with one other person, so if 3 people arrive at Close House together, they won’t be allowed in. Masks, sanitiser, distancing, 30 minute slots and lots of fresh air are the order of the day.

Please keep safe, be kind and reach out if you’re stuggling!

Navy in the Fandango?!

The September sniffles have arrived, and with everyone feeling on edge that means we all take extra precautions and stay home to recover. Sadly, that means we’re too short-staffed to open a full drop in session, but we can still make the place pretty!

What do you think? The curtains will make the room acoustics better for making music, so it’s a double whammy!