Milnthorpe Festival of Light

The event was hugely successful with over 20 entries in total!

The young people’s creativity and hard work was evident and the standard was extremely high. Great fun was had by all who entered their amazing pumpkin carvings.

The young people also took part in a glow-stick poi workshop, learning new skills and wowing the crowd with their light show.

It was fantastic to see so many people attend the event and an excellent opportunity for community engagement – embraced by the community of Milnthorpe and the surrounding areas!

An enormous thank you to:

St Thomas’, for allowing us to use their church/grounds and for being so welcoming!

Our Judges: Brian from St Thomas’, Rachel from Plato’s Girl and Lewis, one of our youth group organisers.

Plato’s Girl, Spar, Flames, Booths, Waffle Mania and KEY for donating the fab prizes – allowing all who entered to received a prize!

Our KEY young people for all their hard work in making this happen and for their light show!

We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did! Here’s to the next one in 2022!

Milnthorpe Youth Café Residential

The residential took place at Rookhow in Rusland and the young people’s chosen theme was stress management – time out especially from the digital world.

Lots of fun was had – mindfulness, listening to the howling monkeys and much more! Great food cooked by themselves, star gazing, a trip to South Lakes Safari Zoo – free to our young people – with giraffe feeding, and so much more!!!

Thank you to Councillor Pete McSweeney, Sue and the trustees at Rookhow, South Lakes Safari Zoo and our trustees for supporting the young people to put their plans into action!

Working within Schools

KEY has been providing one-to-one support; lunch time drop-ins and alternative curriculum workshops.

Alternative Curriculum Projects

Emotional Wellbeing

As a request from Dallam School, KEY created a 12-week programme around Emotional
Wellbeing with the aim to; enable the young people to take control of their own emotional
wellbeing and personal development. This was achieved by providing with them with greater understanding in each of the subject areas; enabling them to develop tools to support them in increasing their self-esteem and building resilience alongside accessing further support where needed.

Within the programme the young people explored the following subject areas:

  • Introduction to Self-esteem, exploration of where they are on the scale and how this
    relates to our everyday interactions and achievements
  • Identity and Celebrating Difference
  • Image and What is Beauty?:
    Exploring a young person’s perception of their own potential and analysing the media perception of beauty versus reality. Exploring the true meaning of beauty; that it isn’t led by others but by themselves
  • Emotional wellbeing involves:
    – Good mental health – exploring happiness levels, balanced lifestyle etc.
    – Managing stress and tensions – understanding the effects of stress on our emotional well-being, managing conflict
    – Understanding and managing feelings
    – Managing self-care and emotional resilience

The workshops start at where the young people are emotionally which is assessed on an introductory session and using informal learning such as; games, media, discussions etc.. Using our well-designed work booklet etc. we engage the young people on a journey exploring these subject areas and making it link to their own lives.

Our first 12 week programme progressed positively for the young people who took part, taking onboard their wants at the beginning of the programme with the aim of providing the essential introductory information to support them to put their learning into
action their learning in their own lives.

Activities included team challenges to promote problem solving, effective communications, basic introduction to theories such as Transitional Analysis and Drama Triangle to support greater understanding of managing conflict, Self-care boxes, recognising we need to practice self-care to top up our own wellbeing and much more. These were all done through the use of interactive games, discussions, visual aids and reflection time.

Within the young peoples evaluations of the programme they
discussed their learning outcomes which I would like to share with
you below.

They decided these were:

  • Be more accepting of ourselves and others
  • This is me – self love – to love ourselves,
  • Learnt about our strengths as a person
  • Problem solving
  • 5 ways to wellbeing
  • Our own self-care
  • Different feelings and emotions are ok
  • Resilience, courage
  • What you think and do effect the way you feel

What they felt could have been better:

• Make things in the sessions
• Do more outside
• Do it in a lesion we don’t like
• Learn more about depression

Statements from the young people regarding what they have gained from this

“How to be happier, more confident and resilient”
“I will change how I deal with different situations”
“I learnt to accept myself”
What will I use/change for myself after the project:
“Continue with self care box to help me when I’m sad”
“After the project I will use what I learned about: think—do—feel”
“Be more confident”

We would like to leave you with a comment left on our worker’s affirmation booklet:
“You have helped me so much and I can’t thank you enough. You are Kind

Holiday Activities

During Holiday periods KEY deliver a varied programme as suggested by our young people in Milnthorpe; some of our programmes have included the following:

Self Defence Workshop

The workshop was requested due to a local incident after adiscussion around staying safe. The workshop was delivered by an outside agency called Skills Shop. During the half a day

workshop we covered; conflict managements, why conflict occurs, our response to conflict and strategies to resolve conflict – using verbal communications and body language to
defuse the situation.

Within the practical self defence section we covered; understanding reasonable force, what governs the use of self-defence, escapes from various types of grabs, strangles and holds.

Although we only had a small group of young people attending on this trial workshop, the group gained hugely from the experience and we will be looking at delivering this programme again in the winter months.

What they thought of the event?

  • Fun, informative, learnt new skills
  • What difference did it make to you?
  • I know what to do if I’m in danger
  • I know how to protect myself
  • Made me feel more safe when on my own

What did they learn?

  • How to read body language
  • Eye – communication
  • Protection

What could have made it better?

  • Seeing more defence moves has increased my knowledge

Crystal Maze challenge

The young people took part in various challenges to win a crystal. The winning team went on to the final challenge to win prizes for themselves and the other participants.

The challenges worked on lateral thinking, problem solving, simple sums, physical activity and co-ordination. Working within teams involved development of various skills from
effective communication to supporting your team members.

The challenges were so realistic thanks to community donations which made the activities possible. The group really enjoyed the activities and engaged extremely well. They have asked for similar activities to be planned in the future.


The Easter egg hunt set out around Milnthorpe and the young people worked in teams to complete the challenges to earn points. Sadly the weather was awful but despite this the young people enjoyed figuring out the riddles and creating selfies to prove their answers. But most of all enjoyed the ending where they shared chocolate hot cross buns and, as a group, chose to share the prize. .

Youth Cafe

We are the Youth Café based in Milnthorpe and we meet on a Wednesday afternoon in
M:HUB. We first opened in May 2017 after our core group of young people from the KEY
Youth Consultation voted on this type of provision.

At the youth café we are a friendly, vibrant group of young people who take part in many
different activities such as giant games, gaming, arts and craft, just chill and listen to music or take part in group games. We have a tuck shop that is open to all each week which helps fundraise for future activities.

Throughout the year we take part in many different village projects which help us to
remain current and connected with our community. Such as running a fundraiser and
supporting the Milnthorpe May Day Fun day. Or at Christmas we enjoyed taking part in the village Christmas Fair where we supported the Santa’s Grotto and loved helping the children meet Father Christmas. We also had a fundraising cake stall made up of cakes donated or that we had made ourselves on our baking day which was great fun! This enabled us to fund our own Christmas trip to the Roller Rink in Bolton which we all greatly enjoyed taking part in. The trip enabled us as a group to enjoy time together, having fun and making memories.

The group decided upon, planned and ran a Random Acts of Kindness Project. We asked for help from members of the community to teach us how to make felt flowers and origami flowers and animals. Once we had made over 120 pieces we then attached tags to the items saying ‘from the young people of your community. We also created challenge cards asking people to carry out random acts of kindness to others. Our aim was simply to make people smile and to be able to carry on that kindness.

On our action day we gifted these items to members of our community and it was great to watch their surprise and see them smile.

When asked what we as young people like about the youth café we came up with many different words and phrases which we believe encapsulate the youth café and what we are about. We said things such as:

“I enjoy youth café as I get on well with the people”
“Being myself and not having to pretend”
“Meeting up with friends”

This shows that the youth café has created a safe, fun space for the young people to be
themselves, which challenges them and supports their personal development.