Find out more about our SHAPE-UP project at the Gills.
Our SHAPE-UP project is delivered in partnership with Shepway District Council.
The aim of SHAPE-UP is to engage with young people in the Shepway region of Kent in physical activities and social inclusion issues.
The rationale behind the project is to bring new experiences and opportunities to participants that they otherwise would not have. We also collaborate with outside agencies with similar priorities in order to increase the likelihood of achieving outcomes which include; breaking down barriers between groups of young people, decreasing the likelihood of young people engaging in anti-social and risk-taking behaviour and improving family relationships.
The programme runs in six week blocks and each cohort caters for 12 young people at a time and is held every Saturday from 9:30am to 1:30pm at Folkestone Sports Centre. During the six weeks they take part in various sporting activities including Archery, Football Golf, Sambo, Curling, Badminton to name just a few.
Between 10:00am and 12:00pm a mentoring element is delivered where Project Manager, Barry Cooper along with guest speakers are able to focus on and address current social issues with the participants.
The information flow between all involved parties is imperative, therefore there is weekly communication with parents, schools and other relevant agencies to discuss any issues that have or may occur that will affect participants.
The relationship with project deliverers and parents is fundamental in making sure that the young people are fully supported and the parents feel comfortable to discuss any issues.
The project has been running just over a year and in that time we have seen over 100 young children.
“The students have gained confidence in them- selves, are more able to ask questions and have developed opinions which they feel able to share” Jayne Mountford, Brockhill Park School.
“Students are able to access different sports that they would otherwise not be able to. This enhances social skills, builds confidence and helps with their self-esteem by mixing with other children from different schools” Kerry Milberry, All Souls Primary School.
“The student I referred to the programme has benefitted greatly. At school things are not going so well for him, similarly he is getting in trouble out of school. This project has given him a focus of something positive, which he really needs” Barry Pluck, Folkestone Academy.
During their six week programme the participants also attend matches at Gillingham FC, for some this is the first time they’ve had an opportunity to visit a football stadium and we are very proud to welcome them to MEMS Priestfield Stadium.