The King’s Bus has been running a successful weekly after school’s club since May 2018 in the heart of Beverley’s largest council estate. Funded in part by the Beverley Town Council, The bus parks on the green, which by the central shops and near to the local primary school on the Swinemoor Council Estate in Beverley. It attracts over 30 kids per week, with ages ranging from 3 – 15. It has also run a successful holiday club over the summer with a weekly attendance of around 50 young people and their parents. This was kindly funded by the Beverley Rotary Club. The holiday club also provided a healthy picnic lunch for the attendees, many of whom come from families struggling to get by on benefits or low incomes.
Activities on the bus
In these days when children often spend hours in front of screens, the King’s Bus project aims to re-introduce traditional games and activities to today’s children and young people, using a classic, old bus as the hub for its activities. Activities we run on the bus include; traditional board games, Arts and Craft, Sports, including Table football, Table Tennis, Croquet, Archery, Petanque, Swing ball and Quoits.
The bus provides a flexible space that can be set up for a wide variety of different activities. Where possible, we park the bus alongside a green or safe paved area which can be used for outdoor activities when the weather is good.
The project aims to engage young people in positive, recreational and educational activities, along with the possibility of life-skills mentoring by suitably trained staff. It aims to meet a need for a safe and accessible place for young people to go and so reduce the numbers of youths gathering on the streets. This contributes towards addressing the local residents concern in relation to crime, violence and intimidation. It is also envisaged that activities and conversations will help to address issues such as self-harm, family breakdowns, mental health issues and violence, gangs and poverty. The team aim to help the participants find a sense of personal well-being and community responsibility as well as nurturing talents in sports and arts.
During 2020, the bus ran a limited programme, due to COVID, though in the summer was able to run weekly clubs in Bridlington and Beverley, through funding generously provided by the National Lottery Awards for All scheme as well as the local council. We hope to attract additional funding from other funders in the future to enable us to start providing a service to other urban priority areas as well as isolated rural communities.
What they say
Q. “Swinemoor Estate needs the bus because…”
“There are so many kids that cause trouble on the estate because they have nothing to do” (Graham, Dad)
I have a handicapped kid, and this is the only place I can take him where he can do things. (Graham, Dad)
It’s new for the children and something for them to do (Mum)
It keeps kids socialized and make new friends (Rilee aged 12)
It gives you something to do instead of sitting and home on electronics (Maisie, 13)
Q. The Thing I love best about the bus is
The kids really enjoy the arts and crafts. It is a friendly atmosphere (Mum)
The freedom for children to choose thei9r own activity and be their own masters (Mum)
I love the sandwiches and the friendly staff. They are cool because they talk to you (M. age 12)
Q. I like the bus picnic because
It’s nice that they get a free dinner and activities to do. (Mum)
It was delicious and so generous and included fruit (Mum)
Great to have lunch. I haven’t had lunch for weeks. I have to make it myself and I can’t be bothered. (Rilee, age 12)
An orange! I haven’t had an orange for ages. I can hardly remember what they taste like! (calum, age 11)