This autumn, three new groups of KidsTime Workshops are launching in Southwark! The groups are delivered by the Mental Health Foundation, in partnership with Our Time and local delivery partners. The groups are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and aim to provide a much-needed resource for families in the borough while also evaluating how beneficial KidsTime groups are to help us fund more in the future. Nine groups will run over the next two years, with the first three taking place online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Two groups started in October, with one more to follow in November.
The KidsTime team has worked hard over the past year preparing to launch the groups and adapt them to run online. To keep the spirit of KidsTime as much as possible, our online format keeps the structure of the face-to-face groups but with parents-only taking part at a separate time. The team have had to get creative, thinking up activities and games to do online (‘Zoom Ball’ anyone?) to keep sessions fun. Although we can’t share pizza together at the end as we normally would, families get pizza delivered to their door at the end so they can enjoy a treat together and parents get a night off the cooking!
Families have been really positive about the groups and pleased to have a fun activity to take part in, together as a family, especially with current restrictions on socialising. The children have enthusiastically taken part in games and activities, and gone the extra mile to entertain their fellow participants. Two siblings wowed us with the latest TikTok dance, while another pair came dressed as a ghost and pumpkin to scare us on Halloween. Parents have shown great commitment to attending the groups, whether that is by getting to grips with using Zoom so that the family can log in to the session or arranging to come home early from work so that they can take part. One dedicated parent even joins the parents-only group on her break at work.
The KidsTime team are really excited about meeting the families taking part in our third Workshop next week and we hope this is the start of a long future for KidsTime in the borough and beyond.