The Living Room
For those who don’t know the Living Room is an after school drop in club at a local secondary school. We run this on two afternoons each week, Wednesday and Thursday. As a team we put out different card/board games and crafts each week, giving the students the choice to decide what they would like to do. There is also the option to just sit and chat as a group of friends, if that is what they prefer. Recently we have been playing games as a bigger group, which has been great at building relationships between the different students as well as allowing team to get to know the students better. We also serve hot chocolate and toast each week. (I have never made so many hot chocolates in my life.) This is served throughout the entire session.
Throughout my time serving on this team I have been able to see changes in young people, just from having a 5 minute conversation. Some young people will just come in for the free food/drink, but as these take time to make, you are able to have really small conversations, but these can have a big impact when a young person keeps coming back. Others will come and stay for the whole time, meaning you are able to have longer conversations. However both of these can have a big impact on the young people coming.
In the recent months of playing bigger group games it has been incredible seeing young people coming out of their shells and growing in confidence. I’ve been really enjoying playing the game mafia again, as I played this a lot as a teenager myself. I’ve also noticed that through this friendships are being formed between different year groups, which isn’t often an occurrence in schools.
It is a privilege to be able to serve the students and school in this way. It has been a real eye opener to see what can happen when you go and meet young people where they are at, rather than asking them to come to you. I can’t wait to see what else will happen through this group.
Sarah Welch Youth Work Student