Let’s talk about Birmingham, where Oasis Hub: Blakenhale are at the heart of their local community, recognised by others for their support and awareness of community needs. Over the last 8 months, our Hub in Birmingham have been busy changing the lives of young people and their families. We’d like to shine a light on their youth provision and portable stay and play sessions.
Throughout the summer holidays, October half term, and weekends between October and November, the Hub provided young people with a chance to re-connect with their peers and school environment. Tackling isolation and mental health issues strained by the coronavirus, they were able to run a multi-sports project in partnership with Sport Birmingham’s MAD Team, with funding from the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit. Almost 100 children were provided with a safe space and the opportunity to engage in activities like basketball, table tennis, and crafts to help reduce anxiety, increase social mobility and empower them to make positive, healthy choices.
“Staff were amazing, my girls felt at ease even with the current situation.”
Teaming up with Fareshare, young people were also provided with a healthy, substantial packed lunch. Aiming to take the pressure off of families on lower incomes, the Hub team were able to give surplus food to those in need when they dropped off/collected their young ones. Talking to Amy Winnett, Hub Leader, about the impact of and feedback from the sessions, it’s clear that children felt supported, improved their emotional wellbeing and confidence with safe socialising throughout he pandemic, family tensions reduced, and young people increased access to sporting activities.
“My child loved to interact with children that she wouldn’t usually while in school. Happy child, happy parent.”
“Thank you to all the staff that organised and worked at the summer sessions. My boys loved coming, and we would definitely sign up to do it again.”
“They enjoyed all the activities, the older child was able to take part in activities he never tried before by the encouragement of the coaching staff.”
Portable Stay & Play
Due to the lockdown over the May period, the successful Stay and Play group was unable to meet up as they usually would. Therefore, to support families with younger children, the Hub provided a Portable Stay and Play project to enable families to stay connected, as well as providing them with practical support for home learning. All the families who accessed the project received a special Stay and Play package that contained four weeks’ worth of resources for home activities and other useful information such as guidance around managing children’s behaviour.
The project has had a positive impact upon families affected by Covid-19 by:
- Reducing parental pressure to come up with engaging home-based activities.
- Easing the financial concerns of purchasing resources to complete activities at home.
- Improving parental confidence to support their child’s learning at home.
- Providing the opportunity for distraction and escapism from Covid-19 induced pressures.
- Providing a non-judgemental listening ear.
- Contributing to the improvement of family dynamics and supporting family harmony.
We’re pleased to share that over 400 packages were distributed to over 100 families between May and August, with families who hadn’t accessed the resource previously now becoming involved. It is programmes like this that place the Hub firmly in the hearts of those within the community, supporting and adapting to families in need one day at a time.
Please visit the Oasis Hub: Blakenhale page here, and learn more about the amazing work they do.