A vibrant youth activity project based in the deprived Manor Ward area of Hartlepool, the Kilmarnock Road Centre first opened its doors back in October 2014. The Centre's goal: to provide a range of vital services to local children, adults and families, alongside a range of key partners.

One such partner is StreetGames, which first became involved in the Centre's work back in June of 2018. In keeping with the Centre's continued development plan, StreetGames' support has since enabled the organisation to expand its range of services, and thereby encourage more young people to become engaged in physical activity.

These expanded services now include a lively junior youth prevision, targeted at 5-11 year olds, which routinely attracts between 25 and 30 participants. Featuring a mix of free play time and more focused learning opportunities, these latter sessions cover a range of topics including personal hygiene, learning about dementia through play, and the effects of anti-social behaviour.

Like many small-to-mid-sized community organisations, Kilmarnock Road's biggest challenge is to maintain a constant stream of funding. With that in mind, the Centre recently made an application to enter the the TFM 'Cash for Kids' fundraiser - a special 10 day funding drive that promised to match any and all donations up to a limit of £2,500.

To the surprise of the team at Kilmarnock Road, their application was indeed a success. This prompted a great deal of planning and networking to prepare for the fundraiser, according to Community Centre Manager Ann Heaton:

"Although we realised that it was going to be difficult, we talked to the Juniors in our Youth Club and approximately 80% said they would do what they could to help. We also spoke to parents who donated raffle and tombola prizes.

One of the craziest ideas was a ‘Onesie Waddle’: a sponsored walk from the Centre to a local park with all participants dressed in onesies!"

In total, the Centre raised an absolutely incredible £1,392.76 - and all this despite going up against a slew of equally deserving projects. Said Ann:

"I am proud of the fund raising achievement - and considering we were against a swimming club, athletic club and dance school, I think we did exceedingly well and it is something that we would do again, though perhaps not in a onesie next time!"

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