Friday 12th October 2012
Charlton Athletic Community Trust has laid on dozens of after school and evening activities as part of a partnership deal with the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Activities include coaching and training in sport and healthy living, music and performing arts, digital media, arts and culture, volunteering, and discovering local heritage.
The Trust has been running youth services on behalf of the royal borough since April. This pioneering partnership means the Trust is working with a range of organisations to bring expertise and local knowledge into the youth service.
It also means a total of 88 different sessions are held every week, and around 5,000 young people take part in them. The programme is intended to be as inclusive as possible for young people with disabilities. As well as activities for disabled young people, young people can talk to the Trust or youth workers about what help they need to enable them to participate fully.
Other popular activities include a radio DJ workshop at The Hub in Nightingale Place, Woolwich Common, pool, computer technology, and T-shirt design and printing at Valley Central in Charlton.
Ten-year-old twins Daisy and Lily Woodland, and their friend Lily Latamsing, also ten, were proud of their t-shirt designs. Daisy said: “It’s really good here. I put Jessie J on my T-shirt, and I’ll wear it to school when we next have a ‘home clothes’ day.”
Her sister Lily said: “I put a family picture on mine from the Diamond Jubilee.” Pal Lily Latamsing added: “It’s more fun than school here. I’ve played pool, made a T-shirt with JLS on, and been in the computer room. I want to make bracelets next.”
Pool fans Tyler Walker, 10, and Chakib Bellamine, 11, were practising hard at Valley Central. Tyler said: “We like playing table tennis against each other as well, and I’m always in the computer room.”
Chakib chirped: “It’s good to come here and do your homework, because you can go into the IT suite which has loads of computers and if you get stuck you can get help.”
CACT’s full activity programme was launched in April, and operates during school term time for 40 weeks a year along with a school holiday programme of more than 10 weeks each year. During the school holidays, there are up to 10 sessions per week in an activity programme complementing the summer programme from Futureversity, previously called Summer Uni.
Matt Horne, CACT’s youth partnership manager and manager at Valley Central said: “This has been a massive programme for us and I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made. The young people have benefitted because we are running more sessions at more locations across the borough.”
Cllr Jackie Smith, the royal borough’s cabinet member for children’s services said: “Our pioneering partnership with Charlton Athletic Community Trust is a win-win for everyone involved. While many boroughs are cutting back services, the royal borough’s decision means that young people here will have better access to support and coaching from experts. “We are proud to be offering this at a time of unprecedented cuts in government funding to local authorities.”