Meet Up, Thetford
Meet Up is a youth and family centre based in Thetford. Its main aim is to provide leisure activity and support services for 8-16 year olds in a safe and informal setting. Based on the Redcastle Furze estate this service is well supported by the Big Lottery Fund.
Some of the services that are on offer at Meet Up are:
- Young Persons Support Group
- Counselling Service
- Parent and Toddler Groups
- Senior Citizen Lunch Group
About Meet Up...
Meet Up is currently in receipt of Big Lottery community funding and provides several services to a wide range of people in the local community. Our aim as a street level youth and family centre is to enable our service users to access provisions in what feels to them to be a safe and informal environment and make positive choices and changes where necessary. The wellbeing of all young people that attend Meet Up is our priority; meaning that an embedded focus on safeguarding is intrinsic to the day-to-day operation of the centre. Meanwhile, the delivery of services is based around creativity, largely using the arts to build self-confidence and develop social skills and positive attachment relationships.
The Benjamin Foundation emphasises the integrative nature of the Nurtured Heart Approach to working with young people across all of its services, and Meet Up is no exception.The Approach is designed to transform challenging behaviour; channelling positive energy and helping young people to recognise their own strengths. We actively embrace and work within the Approach with all our service users, with great effect. Meet Up's staff team have also been trained in recognising and implementing Restorative Practice.This prioritises the need to repair harm and relationships above any need to assign blame and punishment and at Meet Up we embrace this strategy when dealing with challenging behaviour and use the framework when attempting to solve disputes.
We work closely with local Parent Support Advisors, local Police and other Benjamin Foundation services such as the Breckland Youth Advisory Board. We have also worked in collaboration with The Matthew Project, Action for Children, Leeway and Norfolk Early Help Team. We are always looking to extend our partnership work, particularly with local schools, so please do get in touch if this of interest to you or your organisation.
Our Youth Club is for primary aged young people in years 4, 5 and 6.and runs on a Monday and Thursday from 4.00pm till 5.30pm in term time only. We have sessional workers leading activities that involve tech media, DJ workshops, the performing arts, face-painting, cooking and various high energy games, to name a few. Meet Up is regularly introducing new activities and opportunities to its youth club offering, so please get in touch if you would like to find out more.
Drop In is for high school aged young people from year 7 to year 11 and is on from 5.30 till 7.00pm. This runs in term time only. It is an informal, positive environment in which young people can relax, use computer facilities, do homework and access leisure facilities. We also hold one-off workshops where members can try their hand at skills such as photography, multi-media production and DJ workshops. We are always looking to develop our services and any ideas to make this provision even more appealing to young people are welcomed.
*Please note that Year 7s are able to choose whether to attend the Youth Club or Youth Drop-In but are not able to attend both sessions.
Our doors open at lunchtime on a Monday (in term time) for young people aged from 11 to 14 years of age who are not in full time education, We provide food in a relaxed, non judgemental space for young people to access any support requirements they may need from our staff. We help with life skills such as cooking, socialisation, budgeting, computing etc. We offer use of our computer facilities, the chance to meet other young people. This provision acts as a positive mechanism for young people to make positive changes in their lives. This group is held in term time only.
Senior Citizen's Lunch Group
We run a lunch group every Friday in term time for our local senior citizens. This group is run from 11.30 till 1.30. We provide a hot meal and a dessert. This is a very friendly supportive group for our older generation who really enjoy the regular get togethers. We also run trips a couple of times a year for this group. It is a positive and friendly environment for our senior citizens to attend and meet friends and gain support.
Our Parent Support Group runs every Tuesday from 11.00 till 2.00pm. We provide hot drinks and biscuits free of charge. Parents have the opportunity to gain support in a relaxed and non judgemental atmosphere. The group is run by our Meet Up staff and if further signposting is needed to provide more support this can be done. This group is run in term time only.
There is an extensive programme of events run by Meet Up during most school holidays. Many are free of charge while some, for example Residentials, incur a reasonable fee. Most events and workshops are aimed at 8 to 16 year olds. To keep informed of our school holiday offerings follow us on Twitter and Facebook .
Meet Up has a limited counselling service which is run on a referral basis only.
Every Thursday we invite parents, grandparents and carers with their toddlers along to our group from 1.30pm until 3pm, during term time only. Parents to be are also very welcome to come along and get to know us. The groups are friendly, relaxed and completely free of charge. All children are welcome up to the age of 5 years. This group is run by Becky and Hannah.
Meet Up offers flexible volunteering opportunities; whether you want to volunteer in order to assist with your personal or professional development or to give something back to the community, the team always welcomes potential new volunteers to work within any of our services. Volunteers will receive supervision and support and be offered various training opportunities. All volunteers are informally interviewed by the Meet Up Manager and must undergo a full DBS police check and safer recruitment interview in line with The Benjamin Foundation's Child Protection Policy.
Copies of our membership forms are available below.
Download a membership form HERE.