The Shine After School club in Evesham is going from strength to strength and this September is opening at a new site in Bengeworth Church Hall.
The independent charity was established by former Community Missioner, Sarah Hewitt, who gained grant funding through a social entrepreneurship module of her Pioneer Minister course. Since it started six years ago, it has provided after school care for children aged 4 - 11 at Sedgeberrow, Bengeworth and St Richard’s Church of England Schools in Evesham. Moving to the new site will enable them to widen the provision they offer to children from other schools.
Chris Sheehan is a Trustee of the Charity as well as Pioneer Deacon in the Church Lench with Rous Lench & Abbots Morton & Harvington benefice. He said: “We achieved an ‘outstanding’ at our first Ofsted inspection in 2019, but struggled when Covid hit. We are a not-for-profit charity and day to day costs needs to be covered by our income. We want to grow and develop the club and moving to Bengeworth Church Hall enables us to this.”
Shine ran a holiday club during August, open 9am – 3pm Monday to Friday to provide affordable childcare for those parents who need to work.
“We had between 20 and 30 children most days, the majority of whom were entitled to free school meals,” said Chris. “Their places were funded by Wychavon Council and we worked with ‘Round of Gras’ in Badsey to provide a hot, healthy meal every day. Morrisons also kindly donated fruit and snacks and we were even able to provide food parcels to some families for the weekend using the leftover food.”
Manager Kelly Instone has run Shine for the past five years and works with a team of staff who all have the opportunity to train for a Level 3 qualification.
She said: “Shine is totally inclusive and is based around play, while still being informed by the seven areas of learning. We talk to the schools to find out what the children are learning to see how we can embed this at the club and the children love playing team games, doing craft and dancing together. They can also do homework, or we’ll listen to them read if they’d like to do that. We have built strong relationships with the children who attend and offer consistency and support. My dream is to be able to widen the scope of the club so we can offer full-time affordable childcare from pre-school right through to year 6!”
From the very start, Shine has been supported by the local churches, with start up funding and lots of prayer. The club are also grateful for support they get from Clements Rabjohns accountants who run the club’s payroll on a pro-bono basis. “So many people have helped us to get to this point,” said Chris. “Please continue to pray for us as we support families in Evesham.”