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January Newsletter - Services Team

Hi Everyone and Happy 2021!

Whizz-Kidz Team
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Whizz-Kidz Team

As you know we had hoped to slowly begin returning to services early this year however for the time being we have decided to stay online until we know we can all be safe.  With that in mind, we have spent most of January planning fantastic activities for you all to be involved in. 

Here are our regional updates and events for you, but please contact us if there is anything else you feel we can organise or support you with. 

Wales 

This month marks the end of our 3 year Big Lottery Fund Project in Wales. Over the last few years, we have made so many memories, and achieved so much. A huge thank you to all of you that helped make the project so successful. 

But have no fear – this is not the end of services in Wales. We have got a few exciting projects coming up that we are eager to tell you all about as soon as we can. 

We are continuing our online provision with Zoom clubs every weekend and through half term holidays. Please get in touch if you’d like to book on to any of the clubs. 

I thought for this month’s newsletter, we could look back on some memories from the last 3 years. 

South England 

Firstly, a big thank you to all young people and their families and carers for joining us during our virtual activities in 2020; work placements, employability skills sessions and travel training - making the best of the strange situation we’ve been in. Despite not being able to see each other face to face we’ve had a great time virtually and it wouldn’t have been possible without you! 

We celebrated our successes during a virtual event on the 23rd January 2021 with some words from Arunima, Kidz Board reps Georgia and Freya and a yoga session with Fizz. We also had sessions with the Royal Navy, Naturally Talented Me and EY – well done everybody for coming along and joining but a huge well done to the following young people for their awards:

Online Work Placement Award

Jo (South West)  

Jodie (South West)

Skills Award

Alecia (South East)

Commitment Award - Owen (South East)

Independence Award - McKenzie (South West)

Confidence Award - Abbie (South East)

We’ve had an exciting few weeks with our weekend clubs from dancing to drama, and cookery to crafts. We have also enjoyed catching up during Tea and Talk every other week too. Work placements have been continuing behind the scenes with young people making the most of their placements with Barratt Homes, Disability Sports Coach and Southern Rail to name a few. Remember to get in touch with Daisy d.noott@whizz-kidz.org.uk if you’d like to hear more about the placements she has for this year.

Soon we will be running our travel training course again. These sessions are usually practical and face to face but we have adapted them to cover the ‘theoretical’ aspects online so that we can get out and about straight away when it’s safe to do so. If you completed the course in August and need virtual support to practice the skills at home, then get in touch. If you would like to complete the online part of the course with us then email m.biggin@whizz-kidz.org.uk for some more information.

Our February half term is set to be filled with club activities, employability sessions and social get togethers. Watch this space for the calendar for w/c 15th February

If you’d like any further information on the above please do get in touch – Daisy, Ria and I are always happy to chat!

Email: m.biggin@whizz-kidz.org.uk/d.noott@whizz-kidz.org.uk/r.dummelow@whizz-kidz.org.uk 

Facebook: Miriam Whizz-Kidz/Daisy Whizz-Kidz/Ria Whizz-Kidz

London

We are planning lots of activities in London including Travel Training, Employability Skills Days and of course work placements.  

We have the following Employability Skills session coming up – please contact c.shakespeare@whizz-kidz.org.uk to book your place

Funding Circle present “Networking”

Date: 25th February 2021,4:30pm – 5:30pm 

Description: The online banking firm, Funding Circle, will be presenting a 1 hour skills session on Networking - the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

They will be looking at LinkedIn (briefly), using social media, building your brand, how to approach people to build contacts, how to use contacts. 

In other London news, during the last month, the young people that are involved with the mayors fund project conducted an access audit with their tenth participating organisation with lots of great feedback to help the organisation develop and grow. The group also participated in a days peer mentoring training over the platform zoom and had chance to practice their peer mentoring skills.  The campaigns group have also been working on a words of wisdom newsletter that will provide support to organisations about what to consider when working with young wheelchair users.   

North

The North has had a busy month with online clubs running throughout January. The Clubs have included Pilates and Dance sessions that were enjoyed by all that participated. 

The sports coaching programme came to an end this month with 9 young people completing the programme. During the last year the young people have improved their Wheelchairs Skills, learned about sports coaching and deliver sports sessions for other young people, completed peer mentoring training and completed a sports coaching placement in their chosen Sport

Kascie Reflected on the programme saying “I used to be very self-centred in doing a certain activity [..] and I wouldn’t always take into account different people that could and couldn’t do the activity. Doing the course showed me that I can’t do that, and need to find ways around it so that everyone can get involved”  He also Said “ The Sports Coaching Programme was a great way to develop yourself as a coach and volunteer if you’re just starting out in that area”

The Second year of the Programme will begin in May 2021 For the Manchester area. If you are interested in taking part then Please do get it touch with Nicola Moody at n.moody@whizz-kidz.org.uk. 

Scotland

2021 has kicked off with a bang in Scotland! Our monthly themed clubs started with an ode to our famous Bard Rabbie Burns in an Arts and Crafts session followed by a Storytelling session to bring your craft to life! Our clubs for the first quarter will also explore Chinese New Year and St Patrick’s Day!  As a new addition to our calendar, you can  get your disco fever going on the last Wednesday of the month with our Midweek Makaton Disco! Learn how to dance and make Makaton moves to your favourite pop tunes!

Our Fit, Fab, Feb month of sporty and fitness activities include our Give it a Go! Family sports camp which runs week beginning 8th February and includes introductory sessions in Calisthetics, Athletics and Boccia! There something for the adults too! Find your Monday Mojo reliving the 90’s with our FREE dance fit sessions open to all parents/carers of our Whizz Kidz every Monday at 8pm.

February the 9th marks Online Safety Day, and who are we to ignore a celebration opportunity? So join us for a family friendly Online Safety Session is association with Fast Forward and the NSPCC on the 9th at 2pm.

Whizz-Kidz in Scotland have partnered up with ‘Ask Dad More’ and now offer Dadz Coffee and Convo’s sessions, the second of which will be happening on the 16th February at 7pm.

Next will be our under 18’s camp in the Easter holidays, join the “Whizzarding World of Whizz-Kidz” in our magical, virtual camp! Places will be limited so watch this space!

For info on all of these events and to keep up to date on everything Whizz Kidz, please join our private Facebook Group ‘Whizz Kidz Scotland’ or contact Diana – d.hamilton@whizz-kidz.org.uk 

Finally:

Just a reminder that due to our Safety and Safeguarding protocols, you have to book onto events and sign up to our online agreement before you can join a session. When you join a Zoom session, if you can please change your name to your / your Child’s we would appreciate it as we may not recognise Parents / Guardians names and may not let you join.  Zoom links are sent from our Clubs@Whizz-Kidz.org.uk for weekend activities on Friday afternoons – please add this to your safe list to make sure you get all our information sent through to you.

Thank you for your understanding.