ACROSS the nation, the annual BBC Children in Need campaign has already seen thousands of charity events take place, as we approach the big, televised show on November 18.
For the last 42 years, people have delved into their pockets in support of the campaign, with the first, modern Children in Need show raising an impressive £1 million for children across the UK. Last year’s event raised more than £50 million, an astounding amount of money towards helping young people in need of support. While we often see segments on the annual televised programme referring to how the funds raised are spent, how is this cash used to help children locally?
CatZero Humber is a charity dedicated to the support of people of all ages, including young people and full families, helping them into employment or training. Its unique way of working for the last decade, through confidence-building activities, tailored plans and by using the organisation’s 72-foot Challenge yacht, has helped hundreds of people back into education, training, or simply on the path towards their goals.
For the last five years, CatZero has run a successful Full Families programme. Programme Manager Sarah Coulson said: “Through a positive and informal approach, we work with families approaching crisis, who want to change. We connect and support families to identify issues which are causing problems, and then support them to access the help they need to resolve these issues.”
It is with this approach that CatZero’s team, which covers Hull and Grimsby for Full Families, were successful with a Children in Need bid, allowing them to run a programme to empower young people to make positive life choices. The programme, which is coming to the end of its first year at CatZero, has fitted in extremely well with Full Families, allowing young people, aged 10 to 15, to participate in a whole range of beneficial activities.
Sarah said: “We will be running the Children in Need programme for three years altogether and are very pleased with how the 21-22 period has gone. We have supported 14 young people, across Hull and Grimsby, who were already participants with Full Families, which supports the whole family together. If we do an activity with a family on this programme, they all do it together, whereas Children in Need has allowed us to take the young people out of the family environment and on their own, individual journeys.
“The children often have poor school attendance, a lack of motivation, lack of confidence, and a lack of self-worth – our team recognises that every young person is different and has different requirements to achieve their goals – no family is the same and they all have quite different needs.”
Confidence and team-building activities on the Children in Need programme have included llama walking, rock climbing, go-karting, paddle-boarding, one-to-one support after school, private counselling and a two-night sail on the yacht.
Sarah finished: “It has been fantastic to have this additional opportunity, and to watch these young people develop. Outcomes have shown that they are feeling more supported, have built confidence, made friends, and can see a brighter future, as their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing has improved during the year.
“Without funding from Children in Need, these young people would have been a part of the CatZero support system, but they wouldn’t necessarily have had the chance to take part in the activities they have to date. Allowing them to take part as individuals, and away from families and parents or carers, can often make a huge difference to confidence, and this has definitely shown during our first year of Children in Need funding.”
Sarah and the team are looking forward to guiding the 2022-23 Children in Need group at CatZero and will be keeping a keen eye on the televised event taking place on Friday November 18, 2022.