Looked After Children Have Big Fun with Sova

Fund raising for Sova’s Hull Independent Visitors’ Project saw Looked After Children and their Volunteer Mentors celebrate the New Year in style.

Members of staff and volunteers took more than 45 young people to Hull’s BigFun play centre where there is equipment designed to stimulate and challenge all ages.

Project Manager Richard Mullins said the adults were excellent, keeping all the young people busy running about and red faced and keeping food and drink at the ready.

“I have never seen so many adults running around and dodging the ‘Big Green Death Slide’,” he laughed.

A few minor incidents such as the loss of a baby tooth, bruises and a bumped nose didn’t dampen spirits and the donations even ensured that every child received a selection box to take away.
“As always, at the end of the night several young people were asking when we were doing it again,” said Richard.

This activity followed on from two trips to the Theatre in November to see Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Horrible Science which attracted a range of young people and their volunteers.

Richard explained these outings, also funded by volunteer fund raising, were a great alternative to the usual trip to the pantomime.

The fund raising reached a frenzy recently following a support group meeting in November that was attended by all 73 Hull IV volunteers. The volunteers were asked to look out for cheap deals for the IV visits or even consider fund raising for the project.

In December, long term volunteer Joanne applied for and received a grant of £950 from the John Good shipping company.

Also that month, volunteer Nadia held a jumble sale at a local village hall raising £500 for the project.
“It was staggering. I expected to see a few bits and pieces and was surprised to find a cake stall, book stalls, a tombola, face painting and at least ten tables full of clothes and toys donated by Nadia’s family and friends,” said Richard.

At the end of the day Nadia bagged up everything that was left and boosted funds by selling it to a Cash for Clothes shop.

Since then, Nadia has used her volunteering experience for a change in direction from sales and has been accepted on a teacher training course and will be starting at a school in Hull in September.
Volunteer Amy spoke so positively of her volunteering experience to managers of Trident packaging process company in Hull that they decided to sponsor the project.

In February, Trident donated £800 to the project, the proceeds of an annual staff tea party, and a number of members of staff have approached the project about becoming volunteers themselves.
Finally in March, the Withernsea Entertainers donated £50, half the takings from their most recent production, to the project. They had learnt about the values of IV mentoring from volunteer Michaela whose mum Felicity is a member of the local drama group.

As well as the BigFun and theatre activities, the donations will be used to buy cinema and restaurant vouchers to support the young people’s on-going mentoring relationships.
“I really am thankful to all the support from our volunteers, their family, friends and work acquaintances,” said Richard.

“All donations are spent directly on the young people and I know mentoring visits are about spending time together but these activities are what help build up those long lasting relationships and friendships that often continue after the young people have left the service and as they start their adult life,” he said.
“I really am thankful to all the support from our volunteers, their family, friends and work acquaintances”