The Yard has been designed to offer a safe space where young people can come and spend time, learn new skills, meet new friends and improve their mental health, wellbeing and resilience.
The calm and peaceful location of the Yard, combined with small group sizes and a relaxed atmosphere that takes things at each young person’s pace, has proved particularly positive for our young visitors.
Feedback consistently shows that their wellbeing improves after time spent at The Yard. Responses to our wellbeing surveys this summer showed that 80% of young people’s mood and wellbeing increased after their visit and 20% showed no change but started with a ‘really good’ or ‘fantastic’ mood to begin with. We are also seeing other benefits such as learning new skills, increased confidence and learning to make decisions.
Here’s what some of our young visitors have said:
“I love going to the Yard because it’s outside in the fresh air and we do activities like gardening and DIY. It makes me feel relaxed, I like going somewhere in the holidays, so I’m not bored, I like to use my brain and not get bored on my phone or x box.
“I felt comfortable at the Yard, it was something to do. I like to express myself by doing things I like. I’d love it if we can do it again.
“I like the surroundings, the old building, and the Cathedral. I’d like to do some outdoor cooking please.”
The Yard runs free, pre-booked activity sessions during holidays funded by the Holiday and Activities Food Programme (HAF) (for young people whose families are eligible for free school meals or have an identified need). Activities take place outside and have a strong eco focus, for example gardening, making pebble mosaics to decorate The Yard, making bug houses and cooking air-fry chips with potatoes grown in The Yard or trying outdoor vegetarian cooking on the fire pit. For 2023, we will be working in partnership with local youth providers to arrange for young people to visit during term time, to support their mental health and wellbeing.
Check out our What’s On page to see what activities are coming up in The Yard, click here.
We’d like to thank our partners who are helping us keep The Yard evolving in 2023:
- Co-op Community Cares Fund
- The Lord Belstead Charitable Settlement
- The Suffolk Public Mental Health programme COVID Memorialisation grant
- West Suffolk Council Locality budget
- Sue and James Cockram
- Holiday Activities & Food Programme, delivered through West Suffolk Council