November 2020 Newsletter – Project Delivery Updates

We are now well into Autumn and this month has certainly had the team involved in many great projects and community-based activities.

From national awareness week around young people’s mental health, to reaching out to the community with our food parcels, whilst delivering a fun packed half-term programme which incorporated our detached street based delivery and online engagement.

Please pull up a pew, grab a brew and have a read of our newsfeed.

Essential Food Packages and Community Support

This month we have been working closely with members of the community who have been supporting the distribution of our food parcels. We have had donations and helping hands so that we can meet the demand of our communities to help tackle food poverty. We have received messages far and wide offering support to our organisation to give back as much as we possibly can to our communities together and we as Linx staff appreciate it endlessly. We have met some amazing representatives from our communities whose stories we would like to share.

We had the privilege of meeting a young boy named Cole. At just 4 years old Cole and his mum have been busy fund raising as he wanted to help those in need. Together with the help of friends and family, they have managed to raise £160 over one weekend. Cole decided to do this after he took part in an assembly at school where he learned about about helping others and being grateful for what we have.

Another act of kindness to the community was by Alex who generously donated £450 worth of food to Linx. This amazing young man raised money through a Go Fund Me page and doubled it by adding his own hard-earned money to support families with children and young people through school half-term. #EndChildFoodPoverty. His act of kindness says many things, but most importantly community spirit and togetherness during these hard and challenging times.

Jack is also another gentleman who took it upon himself to support his community. Linx received a knock at the door and there stood Jack with his selfless donation. Jack saw our posts on social media and decided to give as much food as possible to help those in need. It is people like this who keep the world going as we can all do with a little help at times.

Linx have also had some helping heroes this month. Staff have been busy unloading all of our food surplus and donations from the community into our office. Two young men, Maxi-Ray and Isaac, both 9 years old, were enjoying their half term in the park and saw that staff could use a hand. Both boys decided they would leave what they were doing and help someone else and it is acts of kindness like this that we are truly grateful for.

We would also like to thank the fantastic team at Barefoot Kitchen for donating fresh organic produce to add to our food parcel boxes delivered to families each week. They grow all of the own produce which allows us to implement and enable healthy eating with our food packages.

This month with all of the help and donations we have received, we have managed to support over 25 families per week, totalling to around 100 families this month.  We should all be proud of our town, its citizens and our community as together we are stronger. We want to thank you all and keep up the amazing work guys.

National Awareness Week Projects

You may have already seen our online activity covering our awareness themed events which were also promoted on our detached sessions providing our young people and communities with knowledge on subjects they may not previously have had awareness on such as:

  • The annual #HelloYellow campaign ran by the Young Minds organisation. Some great conversations around how lockdown has affected their mental health and an opportunity to speak about their lived experiences during COVID.
  • As we are living in such uneasy times with the current pandemic continuing to impact many areas of our lives, many of our communities have been under a lot pressure and we took the opportunity discuss what is hate crime, the impact to individuals and how it affects everyone within their community. We wanted to promote a positive outlook on how empowering communities and reporting hate crimes can help people feel safer.
  • Our Food ambassadors have been busy this month participating in two very exciting and impactful workshops with two fantastic organisations one local and the other a national organisation.

Barefoot Kitchen CiC

A fantastic interactive allotment session based in Hemlington got our young food power ambassadors immersed in some great ideas on developing a more community based approach. To provide our local residents with fresh produce and incorporate plans to develop an Eco shop. During the session the group tried all the different fruit and veg grown in the allotment and enjoyed a tasty home made soup made by Liz.

National Food Foundation

Hannah Graham from the Food Foundation visited us from London to deliver a fantastic workshop for our Food ambassadors covering the key influences on food choice,  barriers to a healthy and sustainable diet, what food and affordability means to them and exploring issues of food insecurity. This spurred some conversation into who they believe is responsible for addressing the issue.  The workshop was very insightful and fuelled our young ambassadors to now take their ideas to a regional workshop session. We are so excied that our Food ambassadors are now in a great postion to have a voice and influence the National Food Strategy.

The group will continue to participate in more research with Barbora, a researcher from Cardiff University, and discuss more about their lived experiences about food and how it’s recently impacted them and their family during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Half Term Activities and Virtual Zoom Sessions

The team have also been busy planning and delivering sessions over half term for our young people whilst they are off school. Unfortunately, due to the Covid pandemic we have had to adjust our deliveries to ensure guidelines and safety precautions are met.

We have continued to deliver detached sessions across Middlesbrough in targeted wards at 5-7pm where staff took to the streets and engage with young people with an aim to minimise anti-social behaviour partnering with Safer Communities and Middlesbrough Council. Cleveland Fire Brigade also provided us with some informative resources for families and young people on how to keep safe during the festive half term.

We have also delivered sessions via Zoom. These sessions included festive themed activities such as pumpkin carving and arts and crafts. Staff worked hard putting together Halloween activity packs and supplied all the equipment the young people needed to participate. We had some great fun and the support from families was fab. Let’s continue the festivities and have fun together safely.

Coach Core Sports Apprentice Interviews

Raheem is now a qualified Coach Core Sports Apprentice level 2 who has successfuly secured a youth worker role with Linx. He was invited to assit us with our Coach Core recrutiment this year and shared his invauable insights.

Raheem said;“In January 2019 after putting in my application for the coach core apprentice, I was invited for a 2-day interview process in which I was given the opportunity to impress different organisations with a chance to secure a placement.

I was nervous at the start but when I spoke to Linx staff on the day I felt very calm as it felt like a normal conversation. I was happy when Linx chose me to be their coach core apprentice. 20 months later I passed my Level 2 sports qualification.

I was also successful in becoming a sessional youth worker after I showed my commitment to the cause and proved myself in the interview process.

From my success and my confidence improving I was asked to be on the panel to interview Coach Core candidates this year.  It was a different experience as I’m used to being interviewed but in this occasion alongside my senior staff member I was the interviewer and not the interviewee.