Working within Schools

KEY has been providing one-to-one support; lunch time drop-ins and alternative curriculum workshops.

Alternative Curriculum Projects

Emotional Wellbeing

As a request from Dallam School, KEY created a 12-week programme around Emotional
Wellbeing with the aim to; enable the young people to take control of their own emotional
wellbeing and personal development. This was achieved by providing with them with greater understanding in each of the subject areas; enabling them to develop tools to support them in increasing their self-esteem and building resilience alongside accessing further support where needed.

Within the programme the young people explored the following subject areas:

  • Introduction to Self-esteem, exploration of where they are on the scale and how this
    relates to our everyday interactions and achievements
  • Identity and Celebrating Difference
  • Image and What is Beauty?:
    Exploring a young person’s perception of their own potential and analysing the media perception of beauty versus reality. Exploring the true meaning of beauty; that it isn’t led by others but by themselves
  • Emotional wellbeing involves:
    – Good mental health – exploring happiness levels, balanced lifestyle etc.
    – Managing stress and tensions – understanding the effects of stress on our emotional well-being, managing conflict
    – Understanding and managing feelings
    – Managing self-care and emotional resilience

The workshops start at where the young people are emotionally which is assessed on an introductory session and using informal learning such as; games, media, discussions etc.. Using our well-designed work booklet etc. we engage the young people on a journey exploring these subject areas and making it link to their own lives.

Our first 12 week programme progressed positively for the young people who took part, taking onboard their wants at the beginning of the programme with the aim of providing the essential introductory information to support them to put their learning into
action their learning in their own lives.

Activities included team challenges to promote problem solving, effective communications, basic introduction to theories such as Transitional Analysis and Drama Triangle to support greater understanding of managing conflict, Self-care boxes, recognising we need to practice self-care to top up our own wellbeing and much more. These were all done through the use of interactive games, discussions, visual aids and reflection time.

Within the young peoples evaluations of the programme they
discussed their learning outcomes which I would like to share with
you below.

They decided these were:

  • Be more accepting of ourselves and others
  • This is me – self love – to love ourselves,
  • Learnt about our strengths as a person
  • Problem solving
  • 5 ways to wellbeing
  • Our own self-care
  • Different feelings and emotions are ok
  • Resilience, courage
  • What you think and do effect the way you feel

What they felt could have been better:

• Make things in the sessions
• Do more outside
• Do it in a lesion we don’t like
• Learn more about depression

Statements from the young people regarding what they have gained from this

“How to be happier, more confident and resilient”
“I will change how I deal with different situations”
“I learnt to accept myself”
What will I use/change for myself after the project:
“Continue with self care box to help me when I’m sad”
“After the project I will use what I learned about: think—do—feel”
“Be more confident”

We would like to leave you with a comment left on our worker’s affirmation booklet:
“You have helped me so much and I can’t thank you enough. You are Kind

Holiday Activities

During Holiday periods KEY deliver a varied programme as suggested by our young people in Milnthorpe; some of our programmes have included the following:

Self Defence Workshop

website-Holiday-activties-5The workshop was requested due to a local incident after adiscussion around staying safe. The workshop was delivered by an outside agency called Skills Shop. During the half a day

workshop we covered; conflict managements, why conflict occurs, our response to conflict and strategies to resolve conflict – using verbal communications and body language to
defuse the situation.

Within the practical self defence section we covered; understanding reasonable force, what governs the use of self-defence, escapes from various types of grabs, strangles and holds.

Although we only had a small group of young people attending on this trial workshop, the group gained hugely from the experience and we will be looking at delivering this programme again in the winter months.


What they thought of the event?

  • Fun, informative, learnt new skills
  • What difference did it make to you?
  • I know what to do if I’m in danger
  • I know how to protect myself
  • Made me feel more safe when on my own

What did they learn?

  • How to read body language
  • Eye – communication
  • Protection

What could have made it better?

  • Seeing more defence moves has increased my knowledge

Crystal Maze challenge


The young people took part in various challenges to win a crystal. The winning team went on to the final challenge to win prizes for themselves and the other participants.

The challenges worked on lateral thinking, problem solving, simple sums, physical activity and co-ordination. Working within teams involved development of various skills from
effective communication to supporting your team members.

The challenges were so realistic thanks to community donations which made the activities possible. The group really enjoyed the activities and engaged extremely well. They have asked for similar activities to be planned in the future.



The Easter egg hunt set out around Milnthorpe and the young people worked in teams to complete the challenges to earn points. Sadly the weather was awful but despite this the young people enjoyed figuring out the riddles and creating selfies to prove their answers. But most of all enjoyed the ending where they shared chocolate hot cross buns and, as a group, chose to share the prize. .

Youth Cafe

We are the Youth Café based in Milnthorpe and we meet on a Wednesday afternoon in
M:HUB. We first opened in May 2017 after our core group of young people from the KEY
Youth Consultation voted on this type of provision.

website-Youth-Cafe-2018-4At the youth café we are a friendly, vibrant group of young people who take part in many
different activities such as giant games, gaming, arts and craft, just chill and listen to music or take part in group games. We have a tuck shop that is open to all each week which helps fundraise for future activities.

Throughout the year we take part in many different village projects which help us to
remain current and connected with our community. Such as running a fundraiser and
supporting the Milnthorpe May Day Fun day. Or at Christmas we enjoyed taking part in the village Christmas Fair where we supported the Santa’s Grotto and loved helping the children meet Father Christmas. We also had a fundraising cake stall made up of cakes donated or that we had made ourselves on our baking day which was great fun! This enabled us to fund our own Christmas trip to the Roller Rink in Bolton which we all greatly enjoyed taking part in. The trip enabled us as a group to enjoy time together, having fun and making memories.

website-Youth-Cafe-2018-2The group decided upon, planned and ran a Random Acts of Kindness Project. We asked for help from members of the community to teach us how to make felt flowers and origami flowers and animals. Once we had made over 120 pieces we then attached tags to the items saying ‘from the young people of your community. We also created challenge cards asking people to carry out random acts of kindness to others. Our aim was simply to make people smile and to be able to carry on that kindness.

On our action day we gifted these items to members of our community and it was great to watch their surprise and see them smile.

website-Youth-Cafe-2018-3When asked what we as young people like about the youth café we came up with many different words and phrases which we believe encapsulate the youth café and what we are about. We said things such as:

“I enjoy youth café as I get on well with the people”
“Being myself and not having to pretend”
“Meeting up with friends”

This shows that the youth café has created a safe, fun space for the young people to be
themselves, which challenges them and supports their personal development.

Random Act of Kindness

KEY Linked into the Moving Mountains project, when a small group of our young people after discussion, created the idea of the random act of kindness simply to make others smile.

Our young people from the Milnthorpe Youth café & Dallam School Drop-in created over 130 items to gift to members of their community.

We had a minimum of 45 young people taking part in creating the items all chosen by them.

The young people worked alongside two artists to help them create their chosen designs.

A small group set about creating our challenge cards, exploring the notion of Random Acts of Kindness, looking at the aim of the cards and how to communicate to others the notion of paying Random acts of Kindness forward. The group wanted to ensure that there were also clear examples of inclusion within the cards reflecting a sense of togetherness.

Our Day of action

website-Random-Act-of-kindness-2Our group met to first have lunch and discuss the plan for the day, discussed how to approach members of the public safely and staying safe out and about in the community.
The group were in very high spirits although nervous but ready to do their action.

It was then time to go out into the community in small groups. One of my favourite stories from this part was:

One group in their excitement were looking for their first ‘target’ having spotted a gentleman on the other side of the road. Once safe to cross, they all ran across to the gentleman surrounding him offering him their gift full of smiles and excitement.  (the group after this were reminded of appropriate ways to approach the members of the public however this was a reaction from the young people of pure excitement)

During the day of action, the group supported the St Thomas’s community event by having a craft table sharing their skills.

Members of the community engaged in making fabric flowers and origami tulips to take home as well as helping the young people to continue their Random Act of Kindness.
It was lovely to see the young people lead on this, teaching people of all ages how to create the items.

The young people are planning their next day of action and are currently planning to hopefully visit their local residential homes. They have already started making their gift items some sharing with each other what they have learnt.

Some of our evaluation comments so far:

website-Random-Act-of-kindness-3Aim: “we wanted to make people in our community happy”

What we enjoyed:

“it’s nice to see people happy from something we’ve done”

What we got from the project:

“I got the will to be kind”
“It was great to get out into the community”
“The best bit was seeing them smile and knowing
I did that”
“It felt good doing something for others”
“I want to do anther community project”

Supported by:


May Day Fun

In partnership between KEY and MiPAD Milnthorpe’s May Day Fun took place on the 1st May 2017.

The day saw the official opening of the Milnthorpe Trim Trial – exercise equipment. Activities included; taster sports activities delivered from all the local sport, dance and music groups, Arts and craft tent, Face-painting, Giant inflatables, meet and greet the animals from Oasis Wildlife Park and much more.

The fun day turned out to be a huge success and was well attended by families and young people aged 14 and under. We received positive feedback for the day and the community are already talking about the next one!

Working in partnership with MiPAD was a good match and gave both organisations a chance to share skills to enable a successful day.

Young people from the Milnthorpe, Arnside and Intergenerational projects were involved in fundraising for their groups activities.

The engagement of the community groups was crucial to the event, it was fantastic how everyone was fully engaged and enthusiastic, willing to give up their time to make it such a success. The day provided activities that were engaging, inclusive, fun and created a real sense of community.

Watch out for the next fun day – MAY 2019

Volunteers needed for the next event, please contact KEY for further details.

Special thanks to; Dr Stuart Alan & Sam Horton, Fitness Dynamics for officially opening the Milnthorpe Trim Trail. Our very own M.C. Alan Hartley and Linda Baverstock for Community co-ordination.

For their kind donations
Milnthorpe singing group, Invisible Solutions, Green Dental, Beetham Nurseries, Levens shop, Clock Tower, Olive Tree Wright & Lord Solicitors, Healthy & Beauty, Cornucopia, Booths, Penworden Music, Bay Vets, Spar

All our volunteers & activity providers as without them the event would not have been possible!

Milnthorpe Steel Band, Rigney Bank, Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, First Responders, Bay Search & Rescue, Fire Service, Army Reserves, St Thomas’s, M:Hub, Arnside & Milnthorpe Youth Project, No 17, Dallam Boarding House, Football, Cricket, Bowling, Croquet, Table Tennis, Running and Tennis.

 Click here for the Westmorland Gazette news article

Intergenerational Community

The Planning

A core group of volunteers from Dallam Boarders set about developing an Intergenerational Arts Project. The young people wanted to create something positive for their community. The group developed the aims and parameters of the project and set about fundraising for their idea. The Core Group’s key aim was:
“Bringing together the different communities and generations in the Milnthorpe and Heversham area through the medium of art”.

The young people’s hopes for the project were:

  • To build the community feel in the area bringing all ages of the community together
  • Creating a lasting good ‘relationship’ between every age group in Milnthorpe and surrounding areas
  • To create an art piece that will be displayed in M:HUB, making a lasting symbol of our project and our community work together

Within fundraising for the project, the Core Group delivered bake sales, wrote funding bids, took the project to their local high school and were delighted that the project was chosen by the School as one of its quarterly charities. Due to this the core group delivered assemblies to ask for the young people’s support and raise awareness. The group, with KEY’s support, successfully raised £2,347.

We would like to take the opportunity to once again thank our funders; Heversham Quarry fund, St Peter’s Church, Dallam School students (mufti day fundraising) and UK Youth Change Squad.

Once funding was secured the group set about, planning sessions, working with a local artist on their vision, promotion, and delivery of the workshops.
In the group evaluation the young people;

  • Recognised their own learning regarding planning such an event; team work, resilience, communication sources and fundraising.
  • Recognised that their plan was a very ambitious one for the first community project
  • Would love to see more projects like this in the future

The Project

Intergenerational Community PlanningThe Core Group delivered 5 workshops for specific groups within the community; families, young people and community members. The last two were open to everyone. During these sessions, the Core Group and staff began to see the true effects of bringing the community together.

Through the project they witnessed young people and the community locked in discussions and all contributing to the final art piece. It was evident that they all felt comfortable and happy in the environment learning from and engaging with each other.

The Celebration

Intergenerational-Community3The ceilidh saw roughly 50 people attend the event, including community members, young people and their families, local young people alongside young people from the boarding house. This was a great event and there was a lovely atmosphere of people enjoying themselves and celebrating their achievements.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach trip

Easter Trip –15 Young People attended the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Trip on the 10th April. Young people from Milnthorpe, Levens, Arnside and surrounding areas attended and it was lovely to see the young people getting to know members from the other groups.

Comments from the day:

“I went on new rides like the big dipper!”

“Absolutely amazing day so much fun!!! Loved the big dipper the most; did it twice!”