CHILDREN and young people are scared of a number of different
things, Chris Kidd says. He is the director of children's and youth
ministry for St Andrew's, Dibden Purlieu, on the edge of the New
Forest in Winchester diocese. "They're scared of
being bullied, scared of getting lost, scared of being alone.
Sometimes these can be funny little things, like being scared of
what's beneath the bed, to much bigger things, like when they move
school and are trying to make new friendships."
The church, he says, has an opportunity to help because,
although schools work hard at preventing bullying, there are times
when children will be bullied. So, for a week in the middle of
August, St Andrew's ran a holiday club for children aged between
two and 11.
More than 185 were attracted by the theme, "Monsters Stink!",
and, with the 85 trained volunteers, they were able to explore
various times when they might be scared - not only of bullying, but
of the dark, or being picked on, or when they moved house.
At the holiday club, they used clips from the Disney film
Monsters, Inc., and stories from the Bible, to help them
to deal with children's fears and emotions. But there were also
plenty of other activities, such as stories, games, singing, and
messy challenges. And there were workshops for older children,
including cake-baking; dance, drama, and music; video and
photography; and crafts and sport.
With the support from St Andrew's and the volunteers, the church
was able to run the week with just a suggested donation of £5 per
child, which meant that many families who had been unable to afford
other holiday projects were able to take part.