How we do it
Play is a fundamental tool for the younger age group to explore and learn about themselves, their surroundings and the people they meet from different cultures and life perspectives.
We facilitate play in a child centred environment where play is freely chosen, intrinsically motivated and self directed by the children. We adapt activities and the environment through observations and reflective practice in response to the way the children use the space and equipment. We consult our children on a regular basis on ideas for activities. We then plan our programmes from this. Where activities require adult supervision, these are done in small groups to ensure all children are safe, can enjoy that specific activity and get the most out of working in small groups; for example building camp fires, cooking, silk painting, sewing etc.
Types of play: we are fortunate to have a purpose built building and playground where we are able to provide almost all types of play (as described by Bob Hughes 2006).
Partners: we work with a number of other organisations to ensure we have up to date knowledge and practice of high quality Playwork such Play Associations and other play providers. We also work with schools and parents to raise awareness of the benefits of play.
What we offer
• Weekly, weekend and daytime play sessions.
An opportunity to meet new people, build new positive relationships and participate in various activities such as arts and crafts, cooking, workshops, skills building and sports.
• Cooking sessions
A series of sessions teaching families and children on how to cook their essential meals promoting healthy eating, social development and shared learning.
• Holiday programmes in half term and summer holidays
Positive recreational activities to engage during school holiday periods. Holiday Programmes are run 5 days in half term and 5 weeks in the summer holidays.
• Community open day
An annual event profiling the work of members attending Attlee through exhibitions, taster club activities and awards, a platform for raising awareness of benefits of play. To also encourage development of positive relationships between parents, children and the wider community as well as provide an opportunity to gain new experiences.
Attlee Youth Club (AYC) was started by a group of local youths around 1999 after they had “graduated” from the adventure playground. Faced with nowhere else to go, they approached the Foundation who were managing the playground at the time and requested permission to open the playground on Sundays for the older age groups up to 19 years to play sports and football in particular. The sessions were managed by them under supervision of local adults. This has resulted in good relationships with young people, especially the hard to reach sector of the youth population who were disengaged from any form of mainstream provision.
The catchment area for the project is ‘Tower Hamlets’, a borough marked with economic decline, high-density social housing and a high level overcrowding. There is also a worrying rise in youth crime and violence.
Aims & objectives
Attlee Centre aims to empower young people through advice, information, education and practical support, to allow them to make informed decisions about their lives. AYC is more than just a ‘youth club’ and sees the development, needs and aspirations of young people as paramount.
The strongest asset of the Attlee Centre is its ability to connect with youth and mobilise positive action; as such we continue to:
1. Maintain a grass roots approach
2. Ensure young people have a voice in the delivery
3. Participate on strategic forums
4. Build new partnerships
5. Invest in the next generation of young people