Jemma McGahy has been working at The Croft for months now, and is currently facilitating the work at their summer sessions called ‘Le Rondin’. The Croft is a respite facility for children run by HSSD. Last month, the Jemma led the young people on a series of paint projects. Messy and brilliant. Below, Jemma tells us about her experiences while working with the young people there.
JM: In Guernsey the respite facility for children is called The Croft and is run by HSSD. It is a residential unit near the coast at Portinfer. It has four beds for children and offers day, overnight and weekend stays. Staff also provide afterschool care, play schemes in the school holidays and may provide some outreach support at the child’s home.
The Croft is also involved in organising a play and activity scheme based at le Rondin school which is where I’ve been volunteering during August.
Usually I work with around 7 children, all needing one to one care and support. I try to vary the project every week and bring new materials along for them to explore. With the help of the support workers we have made lanterns, designed are own super heros, painted with shaving foam, made salt dough jewellery and explored different painting and printing techniques. For me it’s the process of exploring and experimenting with the materials not the outcome… and, of course, we always aim to have fun!
Last month, we did ball rolling paintings; I took along marbles and various balls, put paper into trays and had a blast rolling paint covered balls around in them! We also did large scale ball paintings using a paddling pool. All the children took part, and I was so pleased that even the children that would usually not want to join in with activities got involved and enjoyed it. We finished off the session by doing some chalk drawings onto coloured paper.
This week was my last play scheme session, so I thought I’d take something different along to try out as I’ve been doing alot of painting so far. I took along air drying clay, salt dough, gliter, feathers, sequins and dried beans and told the children to make whatever they wanted and they had some really good ideas; we had star wars figures, monster trucks, masks, beads, flowers and creative sculptures. It was a really chilled out morning and gave me some good ideas for future activities.
Back to the Croft next month!