Last Sunday a group of 40 young people Aged 12 – 15 gathered together at the Village Hotel Blackpool to participating in a planning and preparation event for their upcoming Canal Residential experience in the February half-term.
The young people’s brains were going to be required to work double-hard today. As such, we started with a hearty breakfast including fresh fruit, cereals and pastries which the young people enjoyed whilst discussing with their youth workers what the day ahead might include before moving into the Inspiration Suite to warm-up and crack on.
The main aim of our Canal Residential experience this February is to enable young people to develop and practice essential life skills that will be transferable into other aspects of their lives. As an organisation we are passionate subscribers to the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ and so we make every effort to ensure young people have access to opportunities where they can practice – both successfully and unsuccessfully – in safe and supportive environments.
Kayleigh Smith, our newly appointed Direct Engagement Programme Manager, re-designed a version of the board game ‘Monopoly’ to help young people understand the financial challenges that life can often bring and how we replicate these on our residential experience.
Each boat’s crew played the game as a team with a central fund and worked their way around the board, each square presenting them with a different discussion point requiring a decision to be made. For example, would they choose the luxury boat hire, costing the most; or the standard boat hire, leaving them with some disposable income? Did they have enough money to purchase an additional gas bottle, or would they need to reduce their consumption by using the central heating less? The young people were wholly engaged in this activity for well over an hour!
Whilst many in the group are competent in practical skills such as food prep and knife safety, it never hurts to brush-up on skills. We also used our bespoke resources to give the crews chance to learn some of the rope skills they’ll be required to use. We were grateful to be joined by Mike from LNBP Community Boating who assisted with this activity.
The next step for this group of young people is to head-off to a supermarket with their cash, trolleys and self-scanning machines at the ready to purchase their provisions for the week ahead. Watch this space!