About Us

SPRINGFIELD COMMUNITY FLAT

With our committed and hardworking staff team, we continue to work for social justice at both macro and micro levels because of widening social and health inequalities.

We have been operating on the Springfield Estate for the last 25 years with services for a range of deprived people, young families, early years 18months -5yrs, Out of School Hours provision including Breakfast Club and After Schools Club and Holiday Scheme (at one stage we had After School Clubs on 5 local estates) for children  3-11 yrs.  We also run a Lunch Club for the elderly and disabled people, and attempt to run an Outreach and Befriending service for those who cannot attend the Lunch Club. Support for refugees and asylum seekers, English Classes, Outings and Events etc.  We also provide an advocacy service.  We have also run workshops for people with psychiatric issues.  Also we run an Adventure Playground and Youth Centre for children 8+ with lots of equipment – we have 5aside football, climbing frames and zip line and huge American swing.  On the Adventure Playground and Youth Centre we have series of Marine Containers with the insides removed allowing huge play space.  We have had a full time Family Support worker and have worked with local families with complex needs to enable them to develop and grow into active citizens.

Our Early Years Sessional Care and Responsive Crèche registered OFSTED (“Good”) where children learn through play, operates from the Community Health Centre with many associated family services. We have a key worker system, and work to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Three of its managers have degrees and all the staff are undergoing training. Our family support work, growing out of this, is developing fast, especially with families where the child or the parent has some special need. We also employ fully qualified childcare workers who are bilingual in the languages that the children speak at home. We offer 15 hours a week free places for 2 year olds which helps some of the poorest and most deprived families in this area, especially those who have no English.  We also offer free 15 hours a week places to 3 and 4 year olds and are currently doing outreach to encourage new families to come in to benefit from this resource rather than send their children to school.  Several of these families have applied for the 30 hour scheme.

We have introduced Forest Schools, a mud kitchen and the children have already planted seeds bulbs, fruit and vegetables.

Breakfast Club and After School Clubs are OFSTED registered “good”, we work to the EYFS curriculum with young children and on the KS I and KS II curriculum.

Children are picked up from school and are with us until, 6.30p.m., when their parents collect them. Children and staff eat supper together – it’s a healthy, freshly cooked meal so there is plenty of opportunity for socialising, learning new vocabulary, with plenty of activities; learning by exploring and learning through play. We have cooking sessions, literacy and numeracy sessions, and knitting sessions for boys and girls, lots of arts and crafts and games. The After School children also go to the Adventure Playground and Youth Centre.

The After School Club gives an opportunity for parents to work or to access training – knowing that their children are safe and are enjoying themselves.

In the spring/summer, we aim to be out of doors as much as possible; with plenty of exploring. We run residentials and have regular outings. We also run summer and Easter play schemes.

The Senior Citizens Group continues to meet once a week at the Community Health Centre and we are trying to run, with the help of volunteers, an outreach programme visiting some isolated people within our community.  We are trying to visit each flat on the estates so that we can find out where elderly and perhaps lonely people are living and offer a befriending service to those who cannot get to the weekly group.

Advice and Training - RAS etc

ESOL classes are full (approx. 30 people each day) 5 mornings a week, thriving and fun and we offer crèche facilities when needed.

Numeracy and literacy classes still have spaces and we offer a drop-in service for any refugee or asylum seekers wanting advice, help with citizenship, housing, finding a GP or problems with the Home Office.

Each Wednesday the refugees and asylum seekers cook and host a community lunch at a local vicarage room where we also run a Foodbank there.

Requests for financial advice, benefits advice, debt counselling, housing are growing, as more and more people struggle with a smaller income, and rising cost of living and benefit cuts. We work with the Lambeth Law Centre; as all the other groups with whom we have worked, have closed down.

Our Adventure Playground and Youth Centre is open in the summer 5 days a week, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3pm-6pm, Thursdays 6pm-8pm and Fridays 3:30-6:30.

In July last year a team from a corporate organisations and its associate constructed some wonderful new equipment.  This made the adventure playground look much better from the outside.  They called it the WOW factor, they also reconstructed our zip line. There is a range of activities and sports (dancing and self-defence and drama) for children and young people aged 8-21 years as well as our risky play.

The Adventure Playground and Youth Centre has been used much more this year.  The After School Club children have been there 3 evenings a week, allowing plenty of risky play, exploring, team games and growing fruit and vegetables.  A very successful part of this has been the contribution of Action for London.  A group of volunteers come down 3 days a week offering drama one evening, work in our music studio one evening and their excellent course on identity and community on the third evening.  They help the children (Year 6 to 7 at present) to work out who they are, what they want to do with their lives and the need to take responsibility for their actions and the consequences of such actions.  They also warn about the way children may be bribed into joining gangs or become runners and carry drugs when they get to Secondary School.  There has been an emphasis on the dangers they may face, their own strengths and offering them techniques to resist.

Another major part of the work has been with the older girls who are particularly vulnerable to gang pressure.  This is very much built on relationships with the staff and helped by the Path Programme.  We have had an emphasis on the dangers of bullying on social media and the problems which many of them have experienced with boys expectations and explicit sexual demands. 

There is plenty of indoor and outdoor space. Youngsters grow their own fruit and vegetables. Would anyone interested in gardening like to come to help and encourage the youngsters to prepare the ground and plant the seeds etc?   This is exactly the time of year when help is needed.

 

 




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