The Pod Lockdown Recipe book goes on sale

A BOOK of recipes made during lockdown by local young people from The Pod charity has been launched.

Although nobody could have predicted the outcomes or how long it would last The Pod team were prepared and immediately moved from running weekly social groups to providing daily activities and interactions with children and young people left confused and bored at home.  

The Pod closed facebook profile was a buzz of activity with daily challenges set by the team but also by young people growing in confidence as the weeks went by. 

Not unlike most homes, Pod young people were learning new skills and baking all sorts of creations and sharing their recipes with their peers.  From the many photos of home cooking and weekly zoom conversations came the idea of producing a lockdown recipe book.  Nicki, Pod Plus leader said ‘Following months of planning, we are so pleased to finally have the book in our hands, the idea came from one of our young people and we knew straight away this was something we should find a way to do.  It was important to all of us that the young people should have something positive to keep, so they would always remember that being in lockdown wasn’t all bad and was actually quite fun!’ 

The charity would like to thank local supporters Saputo, Rogers & Co, Eight Stoney Street and the Rye Bakery for sponsoring the project and to the Hunting Raven bookshop in town for selling the book on our behalf. The book is priced at £8 and all proceeds will support future activities run by the charity.

As weeks have turned into months, weekly zooms continue to be well supported with 4 lucky young people recently excited to check in from their European holidays. 

Additionally the charity has partnered with Frome Town Rotary to produce a free family treasure hunt/quiz for all Frome families to enjoy, launched a new online parent talking café, organised a social distance picnic for families and is just about to distribute its 6th and ‘hopefully’ last round of boredom busting packs to young people, there are plans to reopen the projects in the coming weeks.

Sue Paxton, Charity Manager said ‘Our team have excelled and our amazing young people have proved just how resilient they can be…but let’s not forget, this is still a challenging time for all businesses and charities and it will continue to be an uphill climb funding our core costs and other projects so that we can continue with the fantastic work we are doing, thank you to all our supporters for your kind donations and words of encouragement, they really do help us to keep putting one foot in front of the other’

The Pod charity provides social clubs in Frome for young people with additional needs aged between 10 – 30 years old, aswell as the Zone for siblings, Young Carers.  All the activities are driven by young people, support staff and volunteers and provide a safe and supportive space for young people to make friends.  For more information please telephone 07709 231536 or visit the website for further details www.thepodcharity.org.uk  

The Pod receives £30,000 Children in Need grant

Frome Charity, The Pod has been awarded a three year grant of £30,000 to provide a play and social club for children and young people with additional needs.  The funding, from BBC Children in Need will provide a safe and supportive environment where young people can make friends, develop positive social skills, learn life skills and build self-confidence. The Pod runs social clubs for young people with additional needs and young carers.

The new funding award made possible following BBC Children in Needs 2019 appeal in November – will support the delivery of vital services to young people in the area.

Sue Paxton, founder & charity manager, said “We are so pleased to have received funding from BBC Children in Need. This means we can continue to be a supportive hub in the local community and provide a space where young people can meet each week.  We aim to encourage families to share experiences and build a positive network of support. Thank you BBC Children in Need!”

Speaking of the new grant Elizabeth Myers, head of impact (South & North) at BBC Children in Need said, ‘its always a real pleasure to award new grants to projects like the Pod youth club especially in these difficult times. At BBC CIN we are dedicated to making a positive difference to the lives of young people in local communities – its projects like this that continue to demonstrate how funding benefits young people, and gives them the extra support they need to build a brighter future.

Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC CIN said, ‘At a time when children and young people need our support more than ever, I am incredibly proud to be awarding funding which will go on to positively impact their lives. These grants were only made possible thanks to our remarkable supporters, so a big thank you to everyone who supported us in 2019.’

Following the Big Night in appeal in April which brought BBC CIN and Comic Relief together for the first time. BBC CIN launched a number of dedicated funding programmes to support local charities across the UK who are providing essential help to children and young people during the current crisis.

BBC Children in Need is committed to supporting disadvantaged children and young people who are facing additional challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Talking Cafe for families with additional needs

FROME charity The Pod, which runs social clubs for young people with additional needs and young carers has recently set up a new online parents’ talking cafe for parents who have children with additional needs. 

Sue Paxton, charity manager of The Pod said that the cafe has already been well received.

The next talking cafe will be held on 11th August – a free ticket needs to be booked through Eventbrite, you can contact Pod info@thepodcharity.org.uk or telephone 07709 231536 for further details.

The Pod would like to thank the Friends of Frome Hospital for sponsoring the online parents talking café.

Frome Social club wins Discovery grant

A social club in Frome for young adults with additional needs has won a grant from the Discovery Community Fund. 

The fund allocates grants of £500-50,000 to groups for a range of activities to enable people with additional needs to live fulfilling lives in their community.

Pod Plus opened two years ago and this grant means that the club can now offer a wider variety of activities. During the last six months many of the children from Pod Youth club have moved across to Pod Plus and the group now has up to sixteen young people coming every week.

Charity manager, Sue Paxton says: “We found that at the age of 18, our youth club members were leaving and becoming isolated because they didn’t have a social group to go to, this is why we set up Pod Plus in 2017’

The Pod members choose the activities they’d like to do and Zumba is popular as well as casino nights with black tie dressing up, roulette tables, prizes and mocktails.

The group which is led by support staff take part in community events and they recently enjoyed apple juicing at a nearby farm. They collected fallen apples and put them in the juicer and took a bottle home to drink.

If you are interested in finding out more about the group please visit info@thepodcharity.org.uk or telephone 07709 231536.

The Discovery Community Fund opened for the first time in early 2019 and has already supported nine community projects in Somerset.

The Pod 5 year party

The Pod started the new year with a celebration for its 5-year anniversary. The charity organised a silent disco at the Vallis Youth and Community Centre with over 50 young people and their families attending.  A great time was had by all and the young people and families said ‘It was the best time ever…excellent fun and just what we needed!’ The party marked the first time the charity has brought young people from all 3 clubs together, Sue Paxton, founder & Charity Manager said ‘the event was a huge success and went better than we could have wished for.  We don’t think we will be waiting too long before we organize something like this again as it was so fun and accessible for everyone. We would like to thank the Frome Town Rotary and local DJ’s from Bass Beatz for helping us to make the event happen.’

The Pod Youth Club was set up in 2013 by parent carers and children who wanted a safe space for children with additional needs to make friends and develop social skills. 5 years on, the Pod Charity now runs 3 social clubs, Pod Youth Club for young people aged 10 – 17 years, the Zone Young Carers and Pod Plus for youth club leavers aged 18 to 30 years.  The Pod also runs occasional holiday events for their young people and an increasing number of community outreach activities which includes a weekly charity bingo at the Cheese & Grain.

All activities are driven by our members and support staff and volunteers provide a safe and welcoming space, whilst supervising and supporting the activity choices. The charity is reliant on volunteers and funding to maintain services. If you know someone who may benefit from joining our social clubs, or would like to learn more or get involved, please call 07709 231536 or visit www.thepodcharity.org.uk

The Zone Youth Club attend national Young Carers Festival

On the last weekend of June, 8 young people and two youth workers from The Zone Youth Club attended the national Young Carers Festival at the YMCA Fairthorne Manor in Hampshire.

For the young people, the experience “was so cool; on the first night they said really lovely things about being a young carer” and “it was really nice to think that everyone there is the same as you.” Zone Leader Jane said, “We took part in participatory consultations, which made us all think about whether our young carers are supported enough by professionals and if we could do more to help them within our club but also within schools. The group also took part in a research project which is studying how young carers are affected in later life, for example, with respect to their physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

The festival, run by The Children’s Society, gives young carers the opportunity to relax, socialise and have their voices heard about issues that affect them. The outcomes from the consultations inform future work and are also communicated to the government.

We would like to say thank you to everyone who supported our fundraising at the Independent Market and Bunnings, making it possible for us to take the group on this amazing opportunity.

The Zone Youth Club, run by The Pod Charity, benefits young carers aged 10-18 and aims to be a fun, relaxed place to unwind. We meet every other Wednesday from 6-8pm, many of our members have a sibling with a disability. Activities are driven by our youth members and have included film, cooking and challenge nights. Our youth work team provide a nurturing environment, whilst supervising and supporting the activity choices. If you know someone who may benefit from joining The Zone, please email info@thepodcharity.org.uk or contact Jane on 07736 470328.

The Zone is reliant on grants, donations and our own fundraising activities and is seeking funding to maintain services. If you feel like you could offer support or would like to get involved, we would love to hear from you.

The Pod celebrates 5 years!

On the 13th June the Pod held its fifth AGM with a cheese and wine evening for members and Friends of Pod. The charity that was started by parent carers in 2013 has grown from strength to strength, providing services for people with additional needs and Young Carers in the local area.

The trustees, staff team, members, and young people are looking forward to a fun packed year which will include first residential trips for all 3 projects and a special celebration with the young people to mark its 5th year. Sue Paxton, Founder and Charity Manager of the Pod said “We are very grateful to the new Frome Town Rotary for giving us the opportunity to talk at one of their meetings and coming along to our AGM. Their donation was from takings at the Rotary Shop and they are keen to find other ways of supporting us at a time when we are seeking local support to maintain the services we run’

If you are interested in learning more about the charity please visit our newly launched website www.thepodcharity.org.uk, telephone 07709 231536 or email info@thepodcharity.org.uk.