High Trees Community Trust learning to fly!
This project was set up in collaboration with the Power of Polo charity. High Trees Community Trust "believe that everyone has potential and through engaging with various courses and activities on offer, families can build strong, positive foundations for themselves within the community." We got on board to offer an aerial taster session to support a group of teenagers to challenge themselves and try something new. The Aerial session was led by the encouraging Maisie Whitehead.
To challenge the students to learn a new skill.
The workshop was planned by considering the 5 ways to Mental Wellbeing as follows:
CONNECTING - To learn to trust and be trusted; being responsible for your own and others safety, we well as to build and improve social skills, by creating a sense of belonging and community.
During the workshops, participants work in pairs and in groups and needed to develop trust and responsibility.
BEING ACTIVE - To improve physical fitness and general wellbeing.
The nature of the workshop is very physical. The participants will be offered a mixture of warm up and cool down exercises as well as technique based learning and creative exploration. It is well known that keeping active makes you feel good and this permeates across all aspects of life.
BEING AWARE - To develop increased levels of attention and focus.
Aerial fitness is exciting and fun, and also involves a degree of controlled risk. This will require participants to be present and mindful of the moment, helping developing a higher level of attention and focus.
LEARNING - To generate a sense of empowerment in each participant.
Our aim is to help the participants learn some basic aerial technique in a clear and simple manner with easy to follow step by step instructions. Learning a new skill can make you feel good about yourself, more confident and adventurous and we hope the participants discover and develop a new interest.
GIVING - To build up a general sense of wellbeing, personal and social responsibility.
During to the sharing nature of the activity both in pairs and in groups, the participants will learn how to help each other, creating a peer supported environment. Helping and being helped makes you and other people feeling good.
This one day workshop aimed to give a group of young people facing challenges on top of the challenges of being a teenager, an introduction to Trapeze and Silks.
The objectives of the workshop were:
– To challenge the participants
– To build confidence and self belief
– To have fun!
The overall outcome of the session was a tangible sense of achievement. Some of the students were reluctant to take their feet off the ground at first but then, with enough support and encouragement, they were off!
As anyone who has tried aerial will agree the girls found out that trapeze is a little unforgiving but, once you're up there, it's amazing what you can do in just one session! And whilst silks requires a lot of upper body strength to climb, you can still achieve lots with your feet close to the ground. In both disciplines there was a moment of realisation for all the girls when they went from "I can't do this," to "look, I'm doing it!"
Thank you ladies for your determination and we hope to work with you again soon.
"Thank you so much for your generosity in giving this wonderful group of girls a chance to fly. They had a fantastic experience. Self doubt is a real issue among teenagers and circus is fabulous way to help people discover the amazing things their body can do."
Katy - CEO Power of Polo charity