What Has Making Changes Ne Been Up to from June to September 2021?

a LITTLE iNTRODUCTION...

The summer of 2021 was fantastic! We held a lot of activity days and courses. In this blog, I will be outlining what happened and just what it meant to the communities involved. We held a Yoga Tots course, a dinosaur fun day,  a teddy bear picnic, sewing classes and a cooking/crafts course. We also have had some amazing competitions which we’d like to share with you and even a up and coming one!

Yoga tots

We held four courses of 6 weekly sessions of Yoga with toddlers. With all the benefits Yoga for Toddlers has to offer, it’s the best (and safest) way to help children and families learn coping and emotional regulation techniques. Fun-filled, socially distanced classes allowed caregivers to bond with their children, exercise and make friends. There are many benefits to doing yoga with your toddler. We’ve made a short video outlining the key benefits of our course, with the inclusion of some photos from the past course:

Our community is an excellent opportunity to connect new people for both caregivers and their children. Many caregivers of toddlers are concerned about their delayed social development as a result of a lack of social interaction. Children’s interactions with others have changed as a result of not seeing facial emotions and having fewer playdates, throughout the lockdowns of Covid-19. 

 

According to guidelines, children aged 1 to 5 should engage in 180 minutes of physical activity every day. It is critical that they improve their abilities, mobility, and coordination. Even though the lockdown has been lifted, youngsters are still getting less activity on a regular basis. That’s why we gave caregivers and children an afternoon of connecting, in a room full of others who share the same interests.

Children were able to learn a lot of variable skills in the yoga classes, such as stretch yoga poses, tapping and breathing techniques. Yoga gave the caregivers and their children, an unimaginable, close bonding session while learning new skills. Making Changes NE is a believer in building strong communities. This is why we always include an entertainment-filled day during our yoga tots courses. These days are relaxed and fun for all, and a great way to strengthen the friendship made in the class.

Here are a couple of reviews that attendees have said about the classes:

  • “We’ve absolutely loved the toddler yoga sessions in Morpeth- such a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The class party for the last session was a brilliant idea too as it meant we could all chat properly while the kids were being entertained!”
  • “A fantastic company – we have been attending Yoga Tots and it has been great fun!”

Dinosaur Fun Day

Fun. ‘amusing, entertaining and enjoyable. That’s what Making Changes NE is all about, community-based fun. We held a Dinosaur fun-fueled activity day at Carlise Park. The day got off to a fantastic start, a beautiful summers day graced us with brilliant sunshine. 

The activity day first entailed, the children meeting our mascot from the day, the one, the only, Terry the T-Rex. Our T-Rex mascot played a vital role throughout the day of activities.

We played dino related games such as an easter egg hunt esque game with a very big dino twist! The children ran around trying to hunt all the pesky dinosaurs, which were causing so much trouble at the park. While the children were collecting the toys, our T-rex Terry escaped his case and proceeded to chase the children! The little hunters became the hunted.

Once the hunting was over, the children (and Terry), enjoyed playing with bubbles. Even the caregivers got involved in the bubble fun, because who doesn’t like bubbles? This was a fantastic bonding time for the families to enjoy, everyone had fun! After the bubble fun, we started to play “What’s the time Mr Wolf”. 

Now, that was  a tonne of fun and everyone took turns to be the wolf. When the chosen wolf shouted, “It’s dinner time!”, all the children would run back to where they started unless they were caught. The latest back to the start was always Terry the T-Rex, it turns out even dinosaurs are scared of wolves.

After an action-packed fun-filled activity day, we got the snacks out for the children to enjoy. A nice calm end to a big day out, It was fantastic to see caregivers and children play all day and then settle down and eat together. 

Caregivers were able to let their hair down and enjoy chatting with the grown-ups and even organised play dates for the little ones. What a fantastic day of bonding we all had.

Disclaimer: No Children were eaten by Terry the T-rex.

Teddy Bear Picnic

What a day! We were blessed by a beautiful summers day, with blissful sunshine and a brilliant blue sky. The children brought their favourite bear companion along to join us for a fun day out.

The day started off with a song game, in which the children got to pick out a stuffed toy from a box, each of the toys was related to a song and we all had a little singalong. The children were tremendous at guessing and singing all the songs, oh and the adults weren’t too bad either. 

After all the singing (and dancing, caregivers I’m directing that at you), we played some exciting games. We all played a ‘ring toss’ game together, in which the caregivers and children were split into two teams to see how many rings they could get on the stilt. To no ones surprise, the children were out of this world and blew the adults out of the water.

Afterwards, the children got to play a Duel Battle, which was an inflatable gladiator game (but a tiny version). Everyone had a little go at this, we took it in turns to battle each other until we had a penultimate winner. Sorry children, I must say that the adults won this time (but that’s just because we are a little bit bigger).

The final fun-fueled activity was a little mini golf session. This allowed for the children and adults to tune their golfing skills. It was fantastic to see the children being able to have fun but also, subliminally, develop their eye to hand coordination skills at the same time! The fun didn’t stop after the activities finished. It was snack time! We want to say a big thank you to Morrisons for supplying all of our treats and snacks for our picnic. Our platter was phenomenal. We had sandwiches, crips, cupcakes and chocolates to fuel all the little ones and all the running around they did. Not forgetting the monumental amount of juice bottles that were supplied as well, which kept all the children hydrated throughout the day (and even some cheeky adults).

Sewing Classes

Since 2018, Making Changes NE teamed up with Gateshead Learning Skills to offer sewing courses running for ten-week at a time. Attendees could fine-tune their skills or learn from scratch with a professional tutor. 

The sewing classes have been a great way for attendees to make friends with people with similar interests. Every attendee got the opportunity to socialise in a safe environment, even throughout the pandemic. The classes were COVID-19 friendly and had the correct safety measures in place to keep safe and well. The entire course was only £70, and for those who were claiming universal credit, it was completely free! The classes took place in Bensham Grove, an area of deprivation within the North East.

Attendees loved the social aspect of the class and were happy to learn a new skill. People who took part said that some of the reasons they wanted to learn to sew were due to the expense of buying new clothes and also due to struggling to find well-fitting clothes.

We worked hard to make sure members who needed extra support to attend the sessions had procedures in place to help them attend classes. At Making Changes NE, we understand the struggles, barriers and anxieties that can sometimes stop people from taking part in group activities and try our best to put you at ease.

The classes are all-around good vibes, giving everyone involved remarkable memories. The classes consist of learning how to operate a sewing machine safely, make patterns and sew.

Attendees learned how to create different patterns, using a wide range of materials, of all shapes and sizes, making dresses and soft toys, in which they had complete creative control. One of the course attendees, Anne, even made a small soft bear for our director, Jasmine, to give to her daughter. Jasmine loved the gesture, but Jasmine’s daughter loved the bear even more! Still to this day, she sleeps with it every, single night. So, Go Anne!

Cooking and crafts classes

During the summer of 2021, Making Changes NE teamed up with Blue Stone Consortium and Well Newcastle Gateshead to offer cooking and crafts workshops in Felling, an area of deprivation within the North East. This 5-week workshop was designed for families with children aged 2 to 7 living to create budget-friendly, nutritious dishes while also participating in creative activities while the food was cooked.

The families that attended enjoyed bonding together through the powerful tool of cooking. Some of the scrumptious recipes the children cooked include pizza, pepper bowls, broccoli cauliflower cheese bites, peach crumble and pirate treasure cookies. 

While all these beautiful creations were cooking the children had a chance to take part in some food-related crafts. The good vibes and bonding time with the caregivers really inflated the room full of laughter and joy. After making all of that yummy food, you’ve got to keep your mind active, or else it will be all you think about until it’s ready!

The attendees were also given recipe cards in order to recreate the cuisine at home, and which indicated the price of the dinner as well as how many of your five a day is featured. We got an excellent response on the recipe cards, with attendees noting that they found the information useful and that it helped caregivers determine how much extra fruit and vegetables their children required during the day. They particularly liked the fact that we had priced the goods on the recipe cards, as well as how much of the item you got for the price (e.g., you may only need 100g for a dish but can buy 300g for x price to use in another recipe) and the overall cost of the recipe.

We worked hard to make sure members who needed extra support to attend the sessions had procedures in place to help them attend classes. At Making Changes NE, we understand the struggles, barriers and anxieties that can sometimes stop people from taking part in group activities and try our best to put you at ease.  

We are hoping to run the classes again over the winter period so please follow us on social media @makingchangesne  or email [email protected] to get involved or to stay in touch about future opportunities.

making changes ne competitions

Developing Gateshead health and well-being strategy (Bowling):

We teamed up with Youth Focus to organise a focus group for people age 18 – 25 to speak about what they thought about the current health strategy and what they felt needed to be improved. 

Everyone who participated would be taken out for a bowling night as a thank you for taking part. Those who were unavailable to attend the focus group but wanted to take part in sharing their thoughts and ideas around Health and Wellbeing services in Gateshead had the opportunity to fill out a survey which automatically entered them into another competition, which was the This is Tomorrow festival tickets giveaway (more information in the blog post below.)

All participants who took part in the focus group and the survey will have the unique opportunity to brainstorm directly with the council about ideas surrounding the development of Gateshead’s community. The meeting will discuss the findings of the overall consultation and explore how key points can be taken into account to support changes in this area.

The bowling night will take place after the meeting with Gateshead Council. We can’t wait to show off our bowling skills!

This Is tomorrow GiveAway:

We gave away two tickets to the biggest festival in Newcastle, This is Tomorrow. 

To enter the giveaway, potential participants ages 16 – 25, living within the Gateshead area, had to complete a short survey. 

The point of the survey was to find the thoughts, experiences and suggestions from young people across Gateshead around health and wellbeing. 

The views were then used to inform the council so they can develop a new strategy for health and wellbeing services within the Gateshead area. We had a lucky winner, Louise Reid, that told us she had a fantastic time, and it would be a memory she would never forget. She even shared photos of the night with us. I must say, I’m extremely jealous.

Halloween Competition:

We have a spooktacular Halloween competition which is currently running! The prize is a meal for two at Chaophraya, Newcastle. Renowned for its amazing roof-top views and high-quality fine dining, we thought it would be a perfect prize. To enter the competition potential contestants have to send us their costume pics, so why not get involved?

Up and coming cooking giveaway:

Our latest addition to our giveaway portfolio hasn’t taken place and will be active soon. Those who sign up for our cooking and crafts course, based in Morpeth, will be automatically entered. So, what will you win? The winner will be announced on the last day of the cooking course. The lucky individual will win a voucher to a restaurant in Morpeth for a meal for two. It will be a thank you gift, for participating in our community fueled activities. We look forward to seeing your Instagram snaps of the delicious food!

If you want to support us and our mission to support our local communities, please feel free to donate to our GoFundMe page:

If you would like to be notified of more information about the cooking course giveaway and our future giveaways, please follow our social media accounts via the buttons below:

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