Meet Up is our Youth and Family Centre on Thetford’s Redcastle Furze Estate. Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, its main aim is to provide leisure activity and support services for young people and the local community. It enables them to access provisions in what feels to them to be a safe and informal environment and make positive choices and changes where necessary.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Community Centres and the delivery of youth activities from them, Meet Up is extremely happy to be able to offer a programme of activities for the summer for our Youth Club and Drop In members, albeit on a restricted basis, due to Covid social distancing. Meet Up manager, Mike Towndrow explains:
“Rising to the challenge, we set about making Meet Up Covid secure and throughout the past three weeks we have been able to deliver activities to over 30 young people and families, working in small bubbles. Each group has been able to participate in seated activities such as games, quizzes and arts and crafts. In particular they have enjoyed creating a piece of wall art to be hung in the centre.”
When asked about what it meant to be back at Meet Up after months at home they said that it was good to be back at the centre and they were happy it was open again, as they had really missed somewhere to come and meet their friends after so long inside. They also welcomed the opportunity to tell us how they had coped during lockdown and chatted about their fears and thoughts.
Mike continues: “At the beginning of lockdown, we decided to send birthday cards to our members as a way of keeping in touch and this has been really well received with everyone who has received a card so far. One young person said that it was a real surprise and they had not felt forgotten.
“Although the past six months have brought big changes for everyone, it seems it’s the little things that have meant so much, including our teddy which has sat in the window at Meet Up since March. One local lady said: “The teddy you have in your window had a real effect on me when I was feeling low. It lifted my spirits and kept me going. I know it sounds silly but it made a huge difference when I saw it sitting there. It made me smile.”
Thank you to the families and members of Meet Up – it’s great to see you again!
Staff praise children's positive behaviours, such as waiting patiently or being kind to their friends. This supports their good behaviour and self-esteem.