In the next few weeks, we will be launching our Children and Families Club. It’s a Sunday afternoon session, especially designed for families with young children who are affected by homelessness.

An extension of the support they already receive in their accommodation settings, this referral-only service will act as a drop-in for families in Hull. The sessions will run from 1pm-4pm each Sunday, with the aim of integrating parents and their children into the community, as well as giving them much-needed support and guidance.

For the children, there will be a structured play area, a homework club, a messy play area and toy library, as well as outdoor activities in the warmer weather. It will give children who are affected by homelessness a chance to meet and interact with their peers. We’ll also be running day trips out to places like The Deep and Hull Museums to allow families to have a bit of a break from their often stressful lives.

Meanwhile, we will continue to work with parents and support them with finance, appointments and family living. Many young people who are threatened by homelessness struggle to get support from those around them when it comes to parenting. Being a parent can be testing at the best of times, so we’re here to offer guidance and advice.

Those who can access the drop-in sessions will be referred from selected agencies that we work with, so that we can help the families that are most in need. However, they are not compulsory to attend – families have the option to pop in for an hour or the full afternoon.

The RSPCA on Clough Road have kindly lent us their huge education room for the weekly sessions. This gives us access to a great indoor space, a kitchen and toilet facilities, as well as an outdoor area for the summer. We also get access to the animals, making it beneficial for both charities, and the rescue animals will get some love too.

Weekend cover like this is so important because, although there’s some fantastic support out there from the council and other organisations, a lot of services close at the weekend. Many individuals and families hit crisis point at the weekend and it can be difficult to know where to turn. We want to make a concerted effort to be available, approachable and accessible for those who need our help. Life throws some unexpected things at us, and that’s not restricted to Monday to Friday.

The Children and Families Club fits in with our charitable aim to prevent those who are threatened by homelessness ending up on the streets. There’s also a huge generational problem with homelessness. The Club will allow us to access families whilst they’re still young, and help children as they grow up to break that cycle of homelessness and poverty. It’s about educating both children and parents and helping them to grow and develop in a productive way, within a safe environment.

We’re always looking for volunteers and we’d love for you to get involved in this club. The more skilled people we have on board, the better our service will be. For example, teachers, nursery nurses and those who have experience in education have very desirable skill sets. However, anyone who comes to volunteer with us will receive training in child and adult safeguarding, as well as a full DBS check. We invite everyone to volunteer!

In the meantime, we’re still looking for arts and crafts materials, as well as outdoor play equipment for the children to use. The Children and Families Club is set to help those who are threatened by homelessness tremendously, by integrating them into our community and offer support and guidance. Sometimes, all these parents and children need is to feel included and have a chat over a cuppa.

To get involved in any way you can, email us at info@hullhomeless.co.uk and we’ll have a chat about the difference you can make to local lives.