Young People's Newsletter - Sept 2020

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Hi everyone!  Welcome to the September update from the Young People’s Team at Whizz-Kidz.  We hope you’ve all had great summers.  We have had lots going on, from Clubs and employability training through to our first online Work Placement opportunities.  It has been a strange summer for all of us and I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has continued to attend our online services and support Whizz-Kidz and our team across the UK.  You have all been brilliant!   A huge shout out to those of you who have collected exam results over the summer – we’re all really proud of what you’ve achieved.

We are still following Government guidance and updates across all Local Authorities too but we hope to have news of a return to face to face services in our next newsletter and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back. In the meantime, here are some updates from our regions:

North England
Young people have been busy doing a number of online activities such as pizza making, wheelchair basketball, digital music making and wheelchair dance.  We have also enjoyed doing weekly quizzes - Pictionary in particular was a firm favourite.

Due to lockdown, the young people on our Comic Relief Sports Coaching project have been unable to do their placements face to face so have been busy undertaking action plans on how they are going to develop their sports coaching skills as an alternative. This has included doing things like producing short videos about staying active and healthy as well as creating session plans for their chosen sport.

Next month we will see our online services move to a weekend, joining the other regions for some super online activities.  More information to follow soon!

Scotland
We have been busy with online clubs including a relaxation and stretching workshop which was very good and everyone went away feeling very soothed. We have had a fun baking session where we made Pizza from scratch – everyone thoroughly enjoyed this and we will be running another session in September.  

Our Chit Chat times have been a big success too, with time just to chat to friends and catch up with what everyone has been doing. We have also got crafty too with making Grass Head characters, and weather worms!   Throughout lockdown we have sent out some crafty activity packs, and the Whizz-Kidz team have loved seeing the pictures of what you have created with them, felted beads for a necklace, a garden monster and much more!

Our older group, Whizzing Forwards have been super busy. They have decided they would like to campaign and have been looking at access in entertainment Venues.  The group have also been looking at the use of Disabled Parking spaces being misused as additional queueing areas during social distancing in shops and also pubs using the parking spaces for additional seating. They are a passionate and enthusiastic group who are now writing a presentation so that they can get influencers on board and help with their campaigns.

Despite not being able to arrange face to face work skills and work placements, we have been able to run lots of sessions to help you build skills and confidence and now we are planning online work placements too. Please do get in touch if you would like to find out more about these opportunities.

Do you want something to look forward to? As well as our online clubs we are planning a virtual camp (under 18s) to be held during the October School holidays. So keep an eye out for details of this over the coming weeks.


South England
What an amazing summer full of new activities and experiences! From animal encounters to cookie baking, illustration and a virtual trip to Edinburgh for our Potter Tour we’ve managed to fit a lot in to a short space of time! Well done to all those who came along to try something new at clubs. Congratulations also to those young people people who have completed employability skills days, work placements and travel training with us throughout August – we’re always so proud to see your commitment to developing your skills.  Keep an eye out for future events being held on evenings and weekends soon. 

August saw the launch of our online Travel Training programme. The six-week course had young people thinking about planning their future trips on public transport for work, schools and college, or to meet friends to socialise. Your final journey presentations demonstrated how much your confidence has grown and hopefully you’re looking forward to one of the Whizz-Kidz team supporting you to complete the journey face-to-face in the future. If you’d like to know more about travel training, then please get in touch.

There’s lots of work going on to develop some unique and exciting opportunities for all of those who hope to complete a work placement with us in the coming months. If you’d like to discuss the opportunities we have available then please send Daisy an email to arrange a chat so that she can find you the perfect fit.

If you would like to get involved with any of our services then let us know! We love seeing so many of you trying something new

London
Wow we’ve had a jam packed summer of online activities in London! We met meerkats and armadillos through Animal Encounters, embraced indoor gardening with eco-activities, and learnt how to animate raindrops through our Cartoon Animation Workshop - and so much more! It has been our pleasure to post 40+ activity packs to young people across London over the summer – and loved seeing your photos. Watch this space for our new National Online Club Program on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the Autumn. 

Our London Campaign Group (ages 16-25) have also been busy advising businesses and youth groups on diversity and inclusion over the summer, to develop the vision for a more accessible London. An enormous well-done to all of our Campaign Team and Kidz Board who signed up to our Whizz-Kidz Peer Mentoring Short Course over the summer– to develop your aim of being the role models you never had. We look forward to seeing what comes next.

We’re working hard behind-the-scenes to develop our new wheelchair skills tutorial videos for core skills from basic to advanced. We’ll be in touch with in the Autumn when these available – exciting times!

This past month, Rowena and Callum have enjoyed chatting away with some of you offering some coaching and support. We’ve looked at some of the big stuff with you, from reviewing your CV and applications, to being your study buddy, right down to the small stuff on helping you to write a good email or discussing motivation. We are here to help so please reach out to us and would welcome the chance to get to know some of you better.

Roll on September! Coming up with have:

National employability skills sessions are back, starting with time to talk about Positive Thinking on the 8th, and Resilience on the 16th (both 5-6pm).

A special one off day with the Discovery Channel on the 25th, to find out about different jobs and also talk interview skills.

We promised you high quality online work placements and I’m happy to shout about opportunities with some great employers including, Barclays, Coca-Cola and London Zoo available now! This involves an introduction to the company with careers insight, a task/project for complete remotely and a feedback session. The Whizz-Kidz team are there every step of the way as you need. The great thing about this is we can make this bespoke to you, and you can complete the placement at your own pace and the hours that work around your other commitments.

To sign up for anything above or you would just like some time to chat with Rowena and Callum send us a message at workplacements@whizz.kidz.org.uk and we’ll be in touch.

Wales
This month we’ve said goodbye to our weekday Zooms and have been busy getting a weekend provision of more Zoom sessions together for you all as you return to school, college and work. We have some very exciting dates in the calendar already:

- 12th September  Surfability in Caswell Bay
- 27th October – Track Day Experience in Llandow

I hope you’re all as excited as we are to finally meet up face-to-face again after a long few months delivering services over Zoom. Thank you again to every one of you that have supported our move to online services. We’ve managed to stay together and support each other even when we are apart.

Contacts:
I have been asked a few times for the contact details for each region, so here is a reminder of the Managers for each of the regions:

London – Fran Ryan.  f.ryan@whizz-kidz.org.uk
South England – Miriam Biggin. M.biggin@whizz-kidz.org.uk
Wales – Jayne Simonson. J.simonson@whizz-kidz.org.uk
North England – Nicola Moody.  N.moody@whizz-kidz.org.uk
Scotland – Sarah Asher. S.asher@whizz-kidz.org.uk

We also have coordinators who may contact you regarding specific activities such as Work Placement opportunities and Clubs within your area. 

Thanks

Jo

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