Nina Holland Team Leader at Young Hackney
On Monday nights at the Young Hackney Forest Road Youth Hub the open access session has a theme of inclusion and integration. The aim is to encourage young people with additional learning needs or lack confidence to have a relaxed place to socialise and build relationships with other young people in a young adult environment. Sessions are semi-structured, with a weekly activity requested by the group and a sporting activity including football, basketball and earlier this year, a Kung-Fu course.
Between January to July 2015 Kevin delivered a weekly Kung-Fu workshop that encouraged young people to shake off their nerves and build up confidence through the discipline and regulation of the Marshall art.
Kevin and Mark arrived on site early to interact and socialise with young people before setting up for the session. This small but important detail allowed young people to ask questions and build rapport with the group.
During the session a Young Hackney staff member encouraged young people to get involved, but the sessions were planned and led by Kevin and Mark. Young people were encouraged to join in each week and Kevin and Mark were flexible to build a course that was individualised to each young person’s ability and confidence. Regular attendees including young people with mild mobility difficulties and hearing impairments, as well as young people with ASD and also one vulnerable young person at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE).
During sessions, each young person was given individual support, but encouraged to leave their barriers to learning behind and focus on the sport. This was highly successful and we observed young people progress with their skills but also grow in confidence as the weeks moved on.
To mark the end of the course, Kevin was able to arrange for a ‘showcase’ to allow young people to demonstrate their learning to others. This was a highly fitting end to the programme and overall a very successful programme.
Peter Algecs Youth manager at Young Hackney
Kevin has worked for Young Hackney previously providing Kung Fu and fitness sessions for young people in our local youth centre. The young people working with Kevin really enjoyed the sessions and his approach to them, making them understand the ethos and discipline needed to undertake this martial art. Kevin was a great asset and was able to work with some complex young people with challenging behaviour. I would recommend him to others looking for a good youth worker who can support and encourage young people through this activity.
Kevin ran a series of successful introduction to Martial Arts at the Forest Road Youth hub last year and we spoke about taking a group of young people over to China as part of that development / raising their ambitions to succeed.