As the lockdown eases, the ever-resourceful Renegades have found new ways of assembling.  The old pre-virus way of meeting up every Monday in Loxwood has now morphed into daily small group activities with all the necessary safety restrictions firmly in place (as per our Covid policy and the approval of our Safeguarding Officer).

Renegades archery sessopmThe idea is to keep as many of our growing number of young people as occupied and as socially connected as possible at a time when most children’s worlds have shrunk and are losing personal confidence and friendship group structures. When you are adult it is easy to forget how important these years are to children.

Mondays and Fridays have seen the creation of double archery sessions, with four archers per session and a half-hour pick-up and drop-off cross over so each bubble is maintained. Hand sanitiser, two metre spacing and all equipment thoroughly cleaned before and after each session keeps it as safe as possible.

The Renegades carpentry group has been set up every Tuesday evening and has proved so popular we have had to again create two sessions to Renegades Carpentry Groupaccommodate the numbers. The kids are beginning to learn all aspects of carpentry from making their own tools and jigs to making basic furniture. One thing they won’t need to make is bonfire stools, thanks to Sam Keywood of Keywood Tree Care. Sam very generously donated 30 stool sized logs for the children to use both for bushcrafting sessions and once we are back in Loxwood. Wednesday evenings have seen the creation of a drama group, where the children are learning movement, breathwork, voice work, projection and even some Shakespeare. These small group sessions are paving the way for the creation of a Youth Theatre Group in the future. Thursday afternoons have been devoted to fine art. The children have been exploring a new and fascinating way of looking at the drawing subject. Instead of studying the subject itself, they are encouraged to look at the positive and negative spaces it creates and lines of movement. They have created some amazingly mature and thoughtful work and there are some real artists in our young people.

We are really proud of the way the Renegades have come out of the isolation woodwork and sensibly engaged with all the different activities. Their sense of responsibility and care towards each other in keeping their distances and in following the processes has been exemplary!

The Renegades is a local youth group for all children in The Weald catchment area aged 10-16, costs £10 a month and can be joined by contacting Gareth Miller on 07801 862550.