In the October half-term, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST) engaged with 16 young people from diverse communities across Rotherham by taking them on a 3-day residential at Edale Youth Hostel in the Peak District.
Funding from Building Stronger Britain Together (BSBT) allowed these young people to participate in alternative forms of leisure, with the goal of forming new friendships and social cohesion between the different groups.
The young people involved had signed up from our regular weekly sessions, which included young people from Roma/Slovak communities, disability groups and NCS graduates. The flexibility of the BSBT funding allowed us to deliver this residential after a difficult year of lockdowns and isolations for young people and despite the fact that a lot of outdoor centres were still not allowing overnight stays and activities.
The participants took part in team-building activities such as canoeing, weaselling, high ropes, and night hikes. All whilst staying overnight at the amazing facilities provided to us by Edale Youth Hostel. The activities allowed participants to meet young people from different communities and share their experiences of lockdown in a fun, active and engaging environment. The activities also aimed to break down any barriers young people may have and challenge them to step out of their comfort zones.
Alongside the residential, participants also took part in educational workshops around Hate Crime and CSE. These workshops align with some of the issues identified to us by South Yorkshire Police and were in connection to national awareness days.
Throughout the residential, we regularly checked in with young people on how they were finding the experience and how they felt about the mixing of groups, ages, races and communities. Maddie Clarke, a participant on the residential and NCS Graduate said;
“It’s an exciting opportunity to get involved in some amazing activities whilst getting to meet new people. It’s been really interesting seeing how other young people from different communities live, especially after the pandemic.”
Another participant Branislav Bibel said;
“WOW, I love this place. Being able to canoe, walk at night and stay over with my friends has been amazing. I’m looking forward to the next one.”
The residential has been a great success and has allowed us to create a platform for future residentials, targeting the importance of cohesion and education. It has also allowed us to identify young people that really want to make a difference in their community with social action and community cohesion. We aim to direct these individuals to our Millers youth forum at RUCST.
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