Set Restart Helping To Empower Orchard Park Residents

Nine months on from the launch of ‘Set Restart’, the Hull FC Community Foundation reflects on the impact that the project has had on the people of the Orchard Park estate.

Having supported 300 North Hull residents through the delivery of the ‘Tackle It’ programme between April and November in an immediate response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hull FC Community Foundation launched a longer-term commitment to the people of Orchard Park in September 2021 thanks to a £210,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Set Restart, a three-year intervention entailing ‘sport-inspired’ activities, is designed to support members of the community to achieve outcomes associated with better physical health, mental wellbeing, and education and employability.

Having received significant backing from key partners including the NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Dame Diana Johnson MP, Set Restart was developed to support three core beneficiary groups that have faced significant inequality during Covid-19 and currently have limited support options; young people aged 14-17, unemployed adults aged 18-29, and young families at risk of poverty.

Through a host of free-to-attend activities, in its first nine months of operating, Set Restart has already brought people closer together, empowered more people to fulfil their potential and adapted to the changing needs of the area.

One of the key strategies to empower people through Set Restart has been the ‘Young Leaders Academy’, which launched at Sirius Academy North in October 2021. Learners develop their leadership skills, such as organisation, communication and team work, whilst also helping them build confidence and self-esteem to spur them onto a better education and enhance their employability opportunities.

In March 2022, the Young Leaders headed to Thorpepark Primary School to deliver their first session to primary school children, demonstrating specific skills they had learned on the course such as delivering instructions, organisation of people and looking after equipment. This initiative has given the youngsters valuable confidence and empowerment at a key stage in their development.

One of the Sirius Academy North students taking part in the Young Leaders project said: “It’s helped me build my confidence and it has taught me how I can coach other students.

“I wanted to take part in it because I wanted to try something new and coaching primary school children has always been something I’ve been quite interested in doing, so the course has given me the skills I need to do that,” he added.

Another way of supporting young families at risk of poverty has been through a newfound partnership with St Michael’s Youth Project, which was established in November 2021.

There are a range of different activities that the Hull FC Community Foundation runs at the community centre throughout the week, including drop in sessions, breakfast clubs and even a ‘Rugby Minis’ project, where young parents are encouraged to bring their children to play some rugby-themed games, whilst enjoying socialising with other like-minded parents to help reduce social isolation.

Members of Hull FC’s first team squad visited St Michael’s Youth Project last Christmas to meet the children and hand out some festive gifts.

The Community Foundation has also engaged and helped empower local women through boxing sessions, which have helped participants boost their physical and mental wellbeing. By bringing like-minded women together, the sessions have also helped normalise some of the struggles and issues they face in day-to-day life.

The turn of the year saw further developments and enhancements to Set Restart, with the introduction of a free multi-sports sessions at the state-of-the-art University of Hull Allam Sports Centre facilities.

Participants are given free-reign over which activities and sports they choose to play at each session, with the likes of football, rugby league and basketball on offer.

Innocent, a regular participant at the multi-sports sessions said: “Normally, we don’t have facilities such as this to play games. It’s something good for us to blow of some steam after school with all of my mates and we get to choose which sports we can play, which helps keep it fun for all of us.”

Speaking about how the Set Restart project has impacted people so far, Head of Community Learning Ed Grady said: “We knew there was a real appetite for a support network on Orchard Park following the Tackle It programme we ran through the initial Covid-19 lockdown, so we engineered Set Restart to further engage with young people in the area to help them through any hardship they may be facing.

“So far, we have seen a great reaction to Set Restart with children and young adults really buying into what we are trying to achieve by bringing people closer together and empower them to fulfil their potential, whilst also adapting to the constantly-changing needs of the area.

“Here at the Hull FC Community Foundation, we are constantly trying to innovate through Set Restart, to maintain and grow engagement, so this is purely the start and I am looking forward to seeing the project blossom over the coming months.”