Spotlight on: Rose Bowl
In a series of interviews, we explore Islington’s youth hubs and the vital role they play in supporting young people. This time: Dawn Jarrett, lead youth worker at Isledon Arts and Rose Bowl Youth Centre
Tell us about yourself. What’s your role at Rose Bowl?
I’ve worked with children and young people in both the local authority and the voluntary sector within Islington for more than 32 years now. I now find myself, funnily enough, working with the children of the children I worked with all those years ago!
The play and youth team at Rose Bowl also consists of Clive Tachie, our youth work manager and Stacey Jeakins, our play worker. Sports coaches are on site most days, as is MK, our music facilitator.
What sorts of activities and services does Rose Bowl offer?
At Rose Bowl we support children, young people and families to engage in a range of activities within our provision and also signpost and refer to other services. We offer a safe space where workers facilitate activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, outdoor learning and cooking for our younger children. For our young people we provide general youth drop-in sessions, one to ones, group work, music production and collaborate with partners to offer specialist support services. For families, we have a weekly foodbank and regular parents’ sessions. Every year we run a community festival in St Paul’s Park called Summer Celebration and get lots of people and organisations involved. Our young musicians and dancers also regularly take part in Go Islington performing on the Launchpad stage.
Over the summer holidays we take part in Summerversity, offering week-long projects. Young people are always consulted and have come up with some great ideas of what they would like to do. Over the last few years, we have had courses like make your own go kart, bike maintenance, shoe and trainer design, DJ workshops and moped CBT licence courses, to name a few.
Who is it aimed at?
On an average day we see about 50 children and young people, in a mix of drop-ins and structured sessions. They range in age from eight to 21 and activities are programmed into age groups. Lots of support services use Rose Bowl as a base to engage with young people. We regular sessions from Pulse, giving advice on sexual health and relationships. Islington Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service offers free confidential drop-in sessions and workshops are for young people who want more information about drugs and alcohol misuse and the help available to individuals and families in Islington. So, if anyone is worried about themselves, a friend or family member then this is a good place to have an informal conversation.
We have recently started weekly sessions with Abianda. The focus of this service is to work preventatively with girls who may be at risk of being affected by gangs and or county line activity. Bright Futures is an early help service for Islington families run by the council. We know that being a parent is not always easy and that all families need extra support at some stage so have partnered up for regular sessions.
What’s next for Rose Bowl?
At Rose Bowl we are lucky to have good outdoor spaces which include a ball court, green space and roof garden. This year our outdoor spaces are in the process of being transformed. The roof now has furniture and planters all made out of pallets, donated by a local paint shop, so this summer we can be outdoors as much as possible and have picnics and barbecues on the roof. Clearing overgrown areas means plans for fruit trees and berry bushes are now possible.
The transformation of the outside space has encouraged the children and young people to play and explore the grounds and have a new interest and understanding of the natural environment intercity London. Activities have included everything from building swings to digging for worms and bugs.
What are the benefits?
Rose Bowl provides a safe space where children and young people feel comfortable to not only attend and take part in activities but also to raise issues that impact on their everyday life. They are happy to build relationships with the staff which extends to their wider family. Attending Rose bowl gives them the tools to build their resilience and encourages them to socialise with more people.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of the job is being part of young people’s journeys into adulthood. It’s an honour to witness them bloom and progress.
Visit the Rose Bowl website to find out more