Building a Lego club

Members of Riverside Youth Centres ‘Inclusive Us’ successfully applied for funding from HeadStart Kent to set up a Lego club. Inclusive Us is for young people aged 11 and over who have either physical or learning disabilities and it runs in partnership with SNAAP at Riverside every other Thursday evening. The majority of members have autism and many find making and sustaining friendships challenging. It was observed that Lego was very popular and sitting together working on a large Super Heroes model helped club members learn to share, take turns and encouraged conversations which improved social skills and led to real friendships developing.

One parent informed us that for the first time ever, her 15 year old son asked for a friend to come home for tea

One parent informed us that for the first time ever, her 15 year old son asked for a friend to come home for tea. Her son and another club member had bonded over their shared interest in Lego and are now ‘best mates’. Another club member told us that he loves coming to Riverside because no-one teases him or makes him angry.

With the encouragement of staff, club members applied for HeadStart funding to form their own Lego club so that more young people could benefit from working together to build Lego models. They chose their favourite types and decided they would have monthly themed nights where they dress up as characters and work together on Lego sets in the same theme. Star Wars, Harry Potter and Disney were particularly popular!

Last week, young people sat together and produced a poster to promote the Lego club which will start in the new year and they spent over an hour patiently taking turns opening a Start Wars Advent calendar. Each club member made up a figure before the next door was opened. They were still working on this when parents and carers arrived at the end of the session and many remarked how great it was to see their children looking so happy, calm and working really well
together.

This fund has now awarded over £46,897 in grants.

We would like to give more groups of young people the opportunity to carry out a project with a grant of up to £1000 in order to help others.