Our Bradford and Barnsley team held a joint event recently for carers and children at Wakefield Thornes Cricket ground, we had numerous families and young people attend from both hubs.

On the day there were many activities to take part in such as cupcake decorating, face painting, a dog obstacle course and much more. Even the adults were able to join in the activities and congregated around the rock painting table, spending the majority of their time there.

We had visits from an ice cream van, allowing families to each have an ice cream, we also had a flying visit from the fire brigade whom could not stay long as they were called away on a real life emergency. The young people found this very exciting watching the lights and sirens sound as the engine sped off.

Feedback from the day was very positive the favourite was the slime making station and the dog obstacle course, due to high winds we had to change the bouncy castle to sumo suits which made a fun unexpected change. An enjoyable day for everyone  to get together from both hubs and join in the fun filled activities.

Feedback from carers:

Foster Carer called Shelly said “Thank you for inviting us to the Bradford and Barnsley joint Event.  I attended with my twin foster boys aged 4 months and my daughter aged 16.  There was a wide variety of activities including face painting and bun decorating.  Although the boys were a little too young for these my daughter got stuck into the rock painting and designed one for each of the boys for their memory boxes and also had a picture with the fire engine that turned up.  It was nice to meet other carers and catch up with people you know from training courses and find out how they are getting on and exchanging experiences.  The boys were a great hit and I managed to have a cuppa without it going cold”

Foster Carers Gemma and Kate said “The photos are lovely. The children really enjoyed themselves, it’s a shame we had to leave early due to our contact time.

We were a bit optimistic as to what activities there would be due to the weather been a bit miserable and windy, but the activities you laid out were really good for our two. Even though they are 2 and 6 they could both take part in all the different activities. They both like to do arts and crafts so that was definitely a plus. The slime making was the 6 year olds favourite and I think the cupcake decorating was definitely the little ones favourite as she ate more than she put on the bun! It was also nice for Kate and I to be able to meet some of the other foster carers and their young people”

One of the aims of the group is to create belonging and a sense of identity amongst the boys. They have decided to call the group “Boys of Steel” and they have even designed hoodies with the name on the back of them. The ten sessions will include work around recognising and expressing emotions and some work around sexuality, safe sex and healthy relationships, as well as discussing and challenging the group’s perceptions of what constitutes abusive behaviour, particularly within a relationship.

Our second boys group session was held at Horizon Community College in the well-being department, with Marcus from the BRV project leading the session. The young people were all happy to see each other again and chatted amongst themselves whilst we set the room up.

Marcus commenced the session by setting some ground rules and an outline of the work he will be completing with the boys. He focused on self-esteem and much of the session involved the young people thinking about their future self. Marcus gave each of the boys an outline of a male body and asked them to draw themselves as they imagine they will be when they are 21.

All of the boys appeared quite reluctant and appeared a little embarrassed in regard to completing the activity, however JL decided to draw a white overcoat on his figure, explaining his intention to train to become a doctor. JW decided to draw himself with a six-pack and muscular arms as his vision of his future self.

Marcus then gave the young people several questions, all relating to how they imagine their lives will be like at 21, and encouraged each boy to ask the one sitting next to them a question and for the other boy to give their answers. Marcus asked WG to write the questions and answers on flipchart paper and the group discussed.

All of the young people agreed in response to the question, “who will you live with?”, that they all would be living alone or with pets. When asked for more detail about this, the boys suggested that at 21 they would be too young to be living with anybody else. This led to a discussion regarding sexual health and consent which the group engaged well with. Marcus continued to encourage the boys to engage and ask questions. The group were a little reluctant at the beginning of the session, but as the discussions flowed, they appeared to become more comfortable giving their opinions and viewpoints.

Towards the end of the session, M encouraged the boys to make paper aeroplanes and to have a competition to see whose would travel the furthest down the steps in the reception of the school. All the boys appeared to really enjoy taking part in this, GM, JL and WG were quite competitive and wanted to win. On the journey home, all the boys expressed that they had enjoyed the session and appeared enthusiastic about meeting up again in a couple of weeks for the next group.

Overall a very productive and successful day had by all!

Our Anchor Youth Group recently met for a movie night to watch the film Wonder Park. We thought we’d take the opportunity to allow our children to nominate and elect two children ambassadors.

The ambassador will be expected to:

  • Be a spokesperson / voice for children in Capstone;
  • Help to shape our service and improve what the services we offer our children and;
  • Feedback ideas Capstone managers and tell us what we do we and what we can improve.

We gave the children a list of the qualities we would be looking for in our ambassadors:

  • Someone who cares about others, and how they are feeling
  • Someone who is a good listener, and always tries to take other’s thoughts and feelings into account
  • Someone who feels that they can be somebody to talk to
  • Someone who is confident, and feels that they can be a voice for children in care
  • Someone who values the individual wishes and rights of children

The children then made their nominations and we finally appointed E and K as Capstone’s Children Ambassadors after answering some very challenging questions.

The Anchor Group is an established group as part of North for children over 11 years old. The group meet regularly and take part in fun learning activities.

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