The Bellamy estate is one of the most severely deprived wards in Mansfield East and one of the most economically and socially deprived areas in the country in terms of educational performance, health and crime. In such a disadvantaged area, this club is an invaluable service for local families and the community as a whole.
This club is about more than homework. It also provides a secure, supportive, hopeful and practical alternative to the less positive surrounding influences. By supporting the children to study, Hooray for Homework Club gives the local children a better chance of social mobility. The club’s safe, learning environment is assuring to local parents. Says one parent: “The kids love going and I am very pleased with the staff. It is the best thing we have ever had for the kids on this estate.”
Jayne has worked on the project since it began three years ago. After initial wariness from local families, she has seen the community embrace and welcome the project. She also observed its impact, particularly on the youngsters, such as Aisha. A visitor to the club since she was five, Aisha was always getting into trouble. Hooray for Homework Club noticed her creativity and channelled it, and Aisha’s behaviour has improved vastly. Her behaviour at home has improved too because she doesn’t want to miss a night at the club, where she produces some brilliant artwork. Some former members of the club, now at secondary school, return to it as volunteers. Jayne believes that “without the support and influence the homework club gave the children, they would not be at secondary school now and would be doing something much more negative with their lives.”
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