Make it! is Toynbee Hall's project for 12-13 year olds. We offer young people an opportunity to make lasting change in their community while developing their critical thinking skills.
This year our students propose to build an indoor cave at Mile End Urban Adventure Base (UAB) in only 3.5 days. The cave will be designed and constructed entirely by the young people themselves, with expertise provided by local charity Build Up Foundation.
Students will come together from three different East London schools to build the cave. Throughout the project they will learn about healthy eating by cooking all their own meals. They will also produce a short film of their experiences. On the final day of the build they will invite their friends, family, and teachers to see (and experience!) their work at a grand opening party.
After the project, our students will introduce the cave to local children on an activities day they will lead for 360 year 6 students transitioning to secondary school.
What we'll deliver:
- Build a cave in Mile End Park
- Equip young people with new skills
- Get young people active and healthy
Why it's a great idea:
The idea for a cave came about after our young people tried caving on last year’s activities day for year 6. The activity was a hit not only with our young people, but also with staff who saw how it fostered teamwork and problem-solving. Once built, the cave will serve as a high-quality play facility. Thousands of local children will play in it each year, getting active and making friends they may not otherwise have met.
Over a quarter of year 6 students in Tower Hamlets are obese, a figure that rises to 63% in adulthood. Our young people love sports, but tell us it's hard to keep healthy in an area with few opportunities for outdoor play, and a whopping 42 fast food shops for every secondary school.
Our cave will give young people the opportunity to tackle this issue by getting their peers active through play! It will act as a draw to the youth centre, putting children in touch with the other services available to them at UAB.
Steps to get it done:
- Secure a storage container and rail sleepers
- Build Up Foundation assists young people in designing cave layout
- Young people transform shipping container into cave
- Community celebration and cave testing afternoon with friends and families
- Young people introduce year 6 students to the new cave
- If we exceed our funding target we will have an adults only caving late...
In addition to the young people our project supports directly, it will also support the UAB in their own work with young people. The centre only has one all-weather activity at present, making rainy days a challenge.
The introduction of a second all-weather activity will ensure the centre is able to deliver activities for young people, come rain or shine.