Join London Bubble for a summer of theatre making.

29th July – 2nd August
For 5-8 year olds        10.30am – 1pm
For 9-12 year olds       2pm – 4.30pm

and on Friday both groups will come together for the full day and to share their work for friends and family in the afternoon.
5 day summer school costs £30 for Members of Bubble or £40 for non members. (concession prices also available)

To find out more about London Bubble’s summer schools for children, or to book a place:
call 020 7237 4434
email [email protected]
book online at www.londonbubble.org.uk

Southwark guiding group celebrate their ‘MBE for volunteering groups’ – the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The 1st St James’ Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and members of the Senior Section (STARS) and their Leaders could be the newest MBE holders in Southwark. They celebrated in style on Tuesday 2 July as they received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2013, an award for voluntary groups which is equivalent to the MBE for individuals.

Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, members of the Senior Section and Leaders celebrated at Bacon’s College in Rotherhithe with Girlguiding chief executive Julie Bentley. The award was presented to the group by deputy lieutenant Jenny Bianco.

More than 160 girls from around Southwark meet at the same time every week. This includes 33 Rainbows, 56 Brownies and 63 Guides, and a team of 26 volunteer leaders supported by 30 members of the Senior Section of whom 18 help every week! This means they are one of the biggest guiding groups in the entire UK, giving girls the space to have fun and a chance to make their own choices and have their voices heard every week.

Shania, 10, from 1st St James’ Brownies, said: “I loved the presentation evening tonight – the best bit was seeing the Award and reading the letter from HRH Countess of Wessex. It made me feel really proud to be part of something so big. Our leaders are great fun and make our meetings really exciting.”

1st St James’ guiding family of units is led by Lesley Marsh who said: “The award nomination is made by a member of the local community so we were very surprised and delighted when we found out. Some of the leaders were invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and when we told the girls they decided that it would be great to have another celebration and say “thank you” to our local community. The girls asked if we could have a cake to celebrate and we did!”

Pip McKerrow, chief commissioner of Girlguiding London and South East England, said: “What an incredible achievement for an amazing group of Girlguiding leaders and girls. We’re proud of the 1st St James groups who offer girls their own space to build friendships, have fun and develop their own voices week-in, week-out, with some of the largest guiding groups in the region!”

Children from St John's Primary School attend the official opening of the Bee Observation Centre in Stave Hill Ecological Park VF_01_bees
The Bee Observation Centre officially opened at Stave Hill Ecology Park last week and provides a safe way for children and members of the public to watch a working glass fronted hive from a wooden hut without the risk of getting stung.
The kids who came to the opening were the reception year (4-5) from St John’s Primary School in Rotherhithe .
The hives are cared for by beekeeper of the year Sharon Bassey.
Thanks to Vicki Flores of What’s in Wapping for the pics.

London Bubble runs weekly theatre groups which are friendly, fun and creative, and include games and exercises which will help to develop confidence and a range of performance skills.  No previous experience necessary, just come with enthusiasm. Find out more at www.londonbubble.org.uk

The Saturday morning session for 6 to 8 year-olds is held at 120 Lower Road. The fee is £60 (£30 concessions) per term plus £15 (£10) annual registration fee.

To find out more or register for a class call 020 7237 4434 or email [email protected]

Civil society minister Nick Hurd MP this week  met young volunteers at Canada Water Library as Southwark Council announced plans to join a new nationwide library initiative, organised by the national charity The Reading Agency, to generate thousands of new volunteering opportunities for young people aged 11-25 years to give them new skills and experience.

The initiative is called the “Young Innovation Network” and builds on Southwark’s existing youth volunteering schemes including the annual Summer Volunteers Programme. The volunteering opportunities help local young people to improve their chances of employability and enhance their personal development.

As part of its commitment to “Youth Innovation Network” Southwark libraries will create year round volunteering opportunities for young people and encourage them to have a say in the running of their local library. Opportunities are likely to include designing new library services, organising author events, reading with children, handing out books at events like World Book Night, and using library space and computers to tell stories about their community via social media.

“Through the Social Action Fund, we are supporting organisations that are creating new opportunities for people to get involved and help others,” said Nick Hurd MP.

“I am particularly keen for more young people to get the opportunity to contribute to their community and develop their skills and confidence.”

15-year-old Aishat Atinsola, who volunteers at Canada Water Library, said: “I enjoy being a young volunteer, I communicate with the public and children – its fun.  I am gaining communication skills and it boosts my confidence.”

Cllr Veronica Ward, Southwark’s cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics, said: “It is good to be able to showcase the good work we are doing with our library services.

“As a council we have invested heavily in our libraries across the borough and worked hard to ensure that they serve the needs of the local community.

“As a result, our Summer Volunteers Programme has worked really well this year with over 40 young people from across Southwark volunteering at libraries. We look forward to sharing and learning from our partners within the Network.”

The initiative will be delivered in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL) and has been made possible following a £127,000 grant from the Cabinet Office’s Social Action Fund.

The Reading Agency, which has many years experience of working with libraries to develop national volunteering programmes, will coordinate the Network and provide new training and resources for librarians on how to engage young volunteers and run successful volunteering programmes.

Last week 10 former street-children performed in Kagyu Samye Dzong’s shrine room in front of a full house.

The children were brought to London by the ROKPA charity, which runs the orphanage in Kathmandu where the kids have been looked after, cared for and educated after becoming homeless in often very traumatic circumstances.

The evening started off with a moving speech by the co-founder of ROKPA and vice-president of the charity Lea Wyler. She explained how much it has helped the children to be given a platform to tell of their traumatic experiences in the form of song, dance and play.

The children’s lively eyes, engaging smiles and faces full of hope could not fail to melt every one of the 120 hearts in the room. Photographs and film footage projected onto a screen behind the young performers provided the context to their story showing shots of their home country and also of what their lives were like before they were taken in by the ROKPA children’s home.

After the tumultuous applause had quietened down, Dr Akong Tulku Rinpoche the founder of Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland, and co-founder of the ROKPA charity was invited onto the stage. He spoke of his own struggles of facing a situation of near-starvation when he escaped Tibet, having to beg and experiencing tremendous suffering and explained how that has lead him to see how important it is to provide, food, shelter and, possibly above all, much-needed kindness.

A team of 20 young people and staff from Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey are taking on the adventure of a lifetime next weekend to climb the highest mountains of England, Scotland and Wales – within 24 hours.

Joining staff from Standard Chartered Bank, the gruelling challenge will see the team scale Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, and Snowdon in Wales to complete the renowned Three Peaks Challenge between Thursday 24 and Friday 25 May.

Despite the obvious challenges, Miranda Haslem, a Youth Worker at Salmon, is looking forward to it. She said: “We’re all very excited about it as none of us here at Salmon have done it before so it will be well out of our comfort zone. We’re lucky to have the experienced guys from Standard Chartered with us to guide the way!”

Also excited is 16 year old Jack Clayton, a young volunteer at Salmon. He said: “I was going to do the London Marathon this year until I found out I was too young for it, so I set myself a challenge to do this instead and raise money for Salmon along the way.

“I’ve been coming to Salmon since I was 14 and being here has really changed me a lot – I’ve developed skills such as timekeeping, team work and leadership which will help me in future for jobs. I’m looking forward to completing the challenge in under 24 hours – with some time to spare!”

The team is hoping to raise £10,000 to help fund Salmon’s work with disadvantaged young people. To find out more and to make a donation, please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/SCSquared