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IOW Northam Trip 2019


The Northam City Reach programme is a long-term partnership between our pupils and the inner city community of Northam involving a programme of visits and activities. Northam is a small neighbourhood in Southampton near the heart of the city which is geographically quite isolated and with few local amenities.



For the people of Northam, the project provides an opportunity to take part in a range of activities which it is sometimes difficult for them to access and also provides support for the work of the Community Centre and its leaders.



One of the highlights of the year is an activity weekend. One pupil wrote about his experience of the recent Northam Isle of Wight trip:



As we sit on the top deck of the Isle of Wight to Southampton ferry Harry, Seb, Daisy and I, despite needing a good sleep, discuss the past few days. A weekend so jam-packed that it feels as if it was a week’s worth of activities and fun but in which memories were created that will no doubt be cherished by us and the 20 children from City Reach for a long while to come.



2 days prior we stepped into the dining room at PGL Isle of Wight greeted with the energetic smiles and infectious laughter from an assortment of familiar faces from other Canford/City Reach events, and others who were partaking in their first camp. Through a mixture of piggy backs and games of it we all made our way to the cabins and after distributing the sleeping bags and unscrambling the keys we tucked in for the first night awaiting the next mornings’ activities. Awaking to the sound of excited 6 to 14-year olds we sailed through breakfast and onto a morning of giant swinging, zip-lining and matrixing. In three groups we made our way round the activities; giant swing and zip-line saw the children from city reach working together and pushing each other to try new things, to go higher and see who could do the best pose on their way down whilst performing the loudest scream.



Matrix took a slower pace in the form of escape rooms themed from dodging ‘lasers’ to pirate rooms where finding escape routes, solving riddles and searching for ‘the hidden tiger’ saw all of us challenged, even the teachers! The afternoon was a run around the tunnel trail with games of sardines and tag all on our hands and knees forced me to catch my breath back before refuelling in the onsite tuck shop and readying our camouflage for the evening extravaganza of ambush!



One team found a hiding spot while the others hunted was a great teamwork focussed twist on hide and seek that lasted a few hours before we were all ready for bed.



The melancholy feeling arising from knowing that this day was our last and the foreboding black clouds forecast was swiftly overcome by charging off to the climbing challenge. Speedily learning to belay (a climbing technique) while others swiftly scampered up the climbing tower summed up the climbing challenge, our penultimate activity of the weekend and as the weather closed in, we headed inside for problem solving. Activities such as untangling ourselves after being tied together and getting balls in buckets with plastic tubing along with classics such as granny’s footsteps saw the culmination of new friendships made over the weekend and many laughs shared. The sad farewells as we bundled ourselves into the minibus were made along with the plans created for future Christmas parties at Canford and trips to Southampton on Mondays. Future projects that will see the continuation of the development of us and the children at city reach as well rounded individuals with an awareness of ourselves as members of a wider community with a responsibility to each other combined with the growth of the Canford City Reach partnership.



George



For more information about the City Reach Project please visit https://www.canford.com/prospective-parents/life-at-canford/community-action/city-reach
Published: October 21 2019

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