A Newcastle charity that has helped regenerate disadvantaged communities through creative education for 25 years now has an extra reason to celebrate as it plans to expand elsewhere in the North East.
Having spent a quarter of a century transforming opportunities for young people, Kids Kabin has now been awarded funding to allow it to expand its work in the south of the region.
The Walker-based charity works with children and young people in economically disadvantaged areas to teach practical, hands-on skills that boost their sense of self-worth and confidence, as well as helping them address local issues. And following a successful pilot in the Grove Hill area of Middlesbrough, the organisation has now received a funding boost that will mean it can develop a long-term presence in the town.
Charity manager Will Benson explained: “Thousands of children live in disadvantaged communities in the North East of England and struggle to succeed in education and then in employment as they grow up. A lack of success and feelings of failure can have a serious negative effect on children’s opportunities in life, their self-esteem and their mental health.
“Our aim has always been to give all children and young people the chance to fulfil their potential by nurturing their talent. So we’re excited to have the chance to support even more young people in a new area of significant need.”
Kids Kabin, which has worked with up to 10,000 children since it was formed in 1994, started life in an empty shop unit in Walker, but now uses a fleet of bicycle trailers made by young people with the support of the Kids Kabin team to bring its many activities to those most in need. These trailers allowed it to run regular pilot taster street workshop sessions in Grove Hill, with the support of local organisations, using a mobile kitchen, portable pottery wheel and woodworking bench.
Will said: “The community in Grove Hill has been very welcoming and positive about Kids Kabin. In fact our longevity is entirely down to the support we’ve received from the communities in which we work, so this expansion really does mean such a lot.
“We’re incredibly proud of all the young people and families involved both across Newcastle and in Middlesbrough, many of whom still support us as volunteers. And it’s a real privilege that we’re able to share this great news at such a significant moment in our history, and with so many people who’ve made Kids Kabin part of their lives. We’re really looking forward to the next chapter in the Kids Kabin story.”
Kids Kabin’s ‘hub and satellite’ model will now be adopted in Middlesbrough, helping break down barriers due to geography, perception, fear or lack of confidence. And in future, the charity could expand outside the North East.
Kids Kabin works with around 120 children each week and more than 1,000 each year, with regular trips, camps and residentials further afield. It is now looking to recruit team members and volunteers to help support its work in Middlesbrough.