Learning whilst playing.

Learning whilst playing.

During May, Yorkshire Membership & Community Council, was invited to hold workshops, for the Youth Club at the Phoenix Centre in Holmfirth.

The centre is for all the community. It has a large, high ceiling sports area, lined for most sports, plus a communal area with a kitchen.

For the first hour or so, Tanya, Martin and Carol were presenting the workshop Healthy choices to a group of 7- to 12-year-olds.  Tanya had prepared all the fruit and information before attending. The sight of all the boxed, chopped fresh fruit, certainly gained the kid’s interest.  

Tanya spoke about measuring correct portions by holding the fruit or veg in the palm of your hand. One small girl looked at us in absolute horror. “If that’s my portion I’ll starve!”

During the workshop we generally had between six and ten children with us, plus the adults, who were really enjoying it. Some kept going and coming back in order that they did not miss anything

However, as we produced the fruit and the kebab skewers, suddenly we had everyone's attention! It was impossible to count how many children were actually there, possibly twelve to fifteen, simply as they kept joining the back of the line to make more fruit kebabs. It was one continuous circle, adults included!

You can guess which fruit disappears first…the strawberries, as ever, although the grapes were popular, and most kids could be persuaded to try a new fruit.

After this, we held a second workshop for the older group who had arrived. This session was for the twelve- to seventeen-year-olds. I think the average age, of those there, was probably around fourteen.

We produced our new budget game, which has been devised by some Central colleagues.  We set up two tables of eight to join us playing the game.  This was great fun. The students were astute, interested and occasionally shocked at the thoughts of taxes to pay. They were sharp minded and witty, creating a lot of laughter. The group Carol sat with made up their own rule as to how the game ended. Unless you threw the correct number on the dice you had to keep going forward and backwards until you did. One girl was lucky (or clever) and amounted a huge amount of cash. Carol lost…heavily. However, the game is about learning life skills and sharing experiences.

We just managed to finish the games in time for the end of the session.

At the end, one of the adults came to ask if we could present a similar workshop at the local care home where she worked. We were delighted and we are now booked into a Holmfirth care home in July.

Thanks to the staff at the Phoenix, in particular to Tyler, for inviting us, supplying plenty of cups of tea, and encouraging the children to participate.

The children were so well behaved and good fun. It was a great evening and I hope we manage to return another time.

Blog by Carol Warham, Vice-Chair, Yorkshire MCC.