Our Christmas holiday events were a sticky bunch of fun. We avoided the pings and the super-spreaders, and successfully hosted another crop of HAFlings for Lazertag, Flipping out, pizzas, hot-dogs, tape-art and covid-free silliness. Massive thank you’s to Dermot the artman, Tim the Powerhouse, Jon & Beth for helping out, and to all of our supporters whose donations made the food & games possible during a worrying time.
Tim Evans (the guy doing an excellent Listening Pose) is carving an exciting niche for creativity in Hereford. The EPICs and the Youth Council spent an evening there, and very much enjoyed an audience with the Leader of Herefordshire Council, voicing their views on the county and appealing for more youth-focussed, affordable provision.
A lot of what they ask for doesn’t cost money – a greener city, free water to drink, healthier food to eat, a river to swim in, places to enjoy exercise and fresh air, and safe ways to cycle or walk around – and yet so many of the excuses are budget related.
We have to empower young people to inherit a world they can be proud of.
Did you have to double-check that title then?
HAF is the Holidays, Activities & Food programme. Herefordshire Council put us in touch with dozens of young people who needed some care & support over the holidays, and we had a bag of fun. One of our favourite enriching activities was playing with colours and shapes to make art, and the HAFlings got stuck in!
Using carbon paper and water-colour inks, we made it possible for people who ‘can’t draw’ to still make really exciting pictures of their favourite iconic sights from around Hereford City. Whether it’s cars, trees, buildings or burritos, everyone was able to capture an image that was special to them, and now we have this excellent piece to hang in Close House and remind us of one of our favourite parts of Summer 2021.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.