Hipp!!Bones – the Gillingham youth club for young people with special needs

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This month Maddie introduces us to the North Dorset youth club which is providing not just a social space but essential skills and qualifications too

One of Maddie’s favourite moments with Hipp!!Bones was walking in the parade for the Queens Jubilee
(Maddie is at the back waving her flag!)

Hipp!!Bones is a wonderful club in Gillingham for young people with disabilities and special needs aged 11 to 25 years old. It is a great place to socialise with friends outside school, become more independent, and develop new skills and interests.
The club runs every first and third Saturday from 10am to 12pm. On arrival, the staff members each have their own tables set up with a variety of different activities that the attendees will enjoy doing. Hipp!!Bones encourages young people to explore new activities and gain life skills through arts and crafts, cooking, and sporting pursuits. It also encourages them to join in group activities like the M&M game and parachute games. We really enjoy developing our football skills with Sherborne Town Youth Football Club, who visit regularly.
All activities are appropriately
differentiated to meet each young persons needs.

Maddie at Hipp!!Bones
I have been at Hipp!!Bones for a few years and I became a young leader volunteer in September 2022 when I completed a young leadership course. I recently ran my first session on Mindfulness and Meditation.
Hipp!!Bones also run occasional trips – swimming at Riversmeet leisure centre, going for a picnic in the park or bowling in Yeovil. One recent trip was to Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy, for kayaking, paddleboarding and going out on a speed boat. We always go to see a pantomime during the Christmas period!
I asked Jeni Green, Youth Service Worker (YSW) in Charge about the story of Hipp!!Bones:
‘Hipp!!Bones started way back in 2006. I have been YSW In Charge since 2011. In the early days Hipp!!Bones came under the auspices of Dorset Council, but has always been independently funded.
‘We are currently entirely dependent on fundraising and grants to survive.’
She continues ‘I find working at Hipp!!Bones very rewarding. I have the pleasure of working with a skilled team of staff and volunteers who all play an important part in the running of the club.’
Hipp!!Bones is a great place to go if you want to make new friends, join in an activity and most importantly have fun.

Hipp!!Bones runs from Gillingham Youth & Community Centre, Cemetery Road, Gillingham from 10am to 12 noon on the first and third Saturday of the month

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