The first SPIKE kids club session on the Meadows ran this afternoon. This was one of those “suck it and see” sessions in which one has no idea just how many participants will turn up.
As it happened, SPIKE staff had leafleted the estate and residents had discussed the session on Facebook. As a result we were inundated with something like sixty attendees.
Luckily the blistering heat of the last couple of days had subsided enough to make the afternoon comfortable for playing out on the meadow itself.
Management of such a large group comes with its share of issues, not enough seating, groups wandering off then coming back again, mobile phone conversations taking place during the session. The only thing to do is to talk louder, engage with those who want to take part and ride the chaos train to session end.
After a while, once the participants got an idea of what we were about, there was a subtle change in the atmosphere, things settled down and seemed to get easier. Kelly kettles were lit and the adults conversed over tea and biscuits, some for the first time with each other.
We took the children onto the meadow to build shelters with tarps and sticks (the Meadows is quite resource poor unless one considers dog faeces a resource) Some parents helped, some stood and watched.
Feedback from SPIKE staff and residents working in the community was very positive “this is just what we need here”