The Mouth – Bournemouth – Poole – Christchurch

Creative Arts Holiday Club

By Gerald Gilbert

An exciting activities club for disadvantaged Boscombe children is now up and running in the Sovereign centre, Boscombe.

The project called the ‘Creative Arts Holiday Club’ is deemed to be a great success by all involved especially the founder, business woman Carrie Lightfoot.

Running throughout the summer holidays it can accommodate up to 16 children of parents on low income.

Carrie said: “We set it up for parents who are really struggling (financially) or those that have got a lot of children and need a respite.”

She went on to say that affluent people cannot access the service as they already had provisions in place.

A price structure is in position to make sure there is fairness for those on low income. The price is £5 for those that are registered for free school meals or £10 for parents who are working but not eligible for tax credit.

Carrie explained that there are now a lot more financially hard up families in the area due to new welfare reforms. She said there used to be a £40,000 income limit for parents to receive 75% childcare now it is just £25,000.

This means that some Mothers can’t work because of childcare costs. Carrie said: “We are trying to get those women back into the work place. Also there are the social services that pay for kids to attend.

The idea came from Carrie herself. She not only gives 50% of her income to fund the project she volunteers her time to be with the children as do all the other helpers.

Other funding comes from the ‘Community Development Foundation’ which is run nationally and the Boscombe Community Interest Company.

To keep cost down there another partner the Sovereign centre itself has donated the shop for free.

On the whole it is Carrie’s drive and enthusiasm that is at the heart of the project and its vibrancy. She has been working with kids for as long as 17 years and for ten of those she has run successful holiday clubs.

Although she runs her own business children’s activity clubs are her passion and rewarding in themselves. She said: “It’s just so much fun. Some of these kids they come from difficult families they can have a really cool day and you can see their attitude change.”

Local artists and performers had similar attitudes and gave high praise to the club. 16 year old dancer Rebecca said she thinks it is a very good project while street dancer Travis said: “I think it is really good. It ‘s good for kids to know different styles of dance and a whole lot of creative stuff.”

However there is a struggle to keep the project going, which is what has been expressed by all concerned.

When asked if she would like to see the project prolonged grandmother Jackie Smiley said: “I think it’s a very good idea.”

She has used the club for two days now and liked it so much she has booked another week. She said of the club: “I think it is brilliant, it’s very good. I mean the kids just love it.”

Her enthusiastic sentiments were echoed by the young service users themselves. They made comments such as ‘Love it’ from ten year old Kyle, ‘Amazing’ from Adam also Ten and Lily,8 who loved to make things said “It’s very good.” Other equally engaging activities that the kids enthused about were painting carnival masks, fun games, making toys and colouring.”

It is hoped that more funding will be found to make it a permanent feature for Boscombe and the kids who need it.

Leave a Reply

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes