Project information

Hackney Summer Scheme

We require funding for our Summer Scheme for children and mothers from the deprived Charedi Jewish community in Hackney. Mothers attend alongside their children giving them the chance to spend time with them and meet fellow families giving children the opportunity to take part in fun activities.

August 2015 - August 2015

Charity information: Norwood Ravenswood

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  • Need


    The Charedi Jewish community in Hackney are disadvantaged due to poverty resulting from large families and the overcrowding in their homes.
    A recent study of the Charedi community in Stamford Hill demonstrated that 58% of respondents could not afford an annual holiday away from home and 30% of children were not exposed to any physical activities such as ball games. Without physical and emotional stimulation these children are more susceptible to mental illness and poor performance.


    The Summer Play Scheme provides a unique chance for these children to achieve physical and mental stimulation in the company of their mothers, siblings and friends by giving them the opportunity to access activities in a safe environment free from judgement.

    The scheme will be held at Norwood Somers Centre during the Summer 2015 school holidays and will enable these deprived children to enhance their emotional and physical development and close the gap between them and the wider community

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve mental health of children within the Charedi community through physical and mental stimulus


    » Up to 120 children per day will be given the opportunity to play and socialise with other children and bond with their mothers free from prejudice
    » We ensure children have new experiences such as visits from a mobile farm and reptile zoo & activities such as painting, cooking, gardening and sports
    » We provide a wide open space in a large garden which has climbing equipment, swings, slides, sandpit, soft play room, ball pool and a toy library
    » We give children respite from the family home which are overcrowded due to the Charedi practice of increasing numbers of children in the community

    What success will look like

    We will measure the number of children attending to see if the project remains popular by asking them to feedback to us through questionnaires whether they enjoyed the scheme

    Aim 2

    Improve mental health of mothers within the Charedi community by providing them vital respite


    » We provide a break for mothers and support them to care for their children, as a rule they do not drive so require community specific provisions
    » We give mothers a chance to spend quality time with their children and play with them in a relaxed environment free from any stresses
    » We reduce the feelings of isolation that young mothers often report back to us by encouraging them to spend time with their peers in the community
    » We will identify women who are experiencing emotional difficulties and preventative measures can be taken to address them e.g. postnatal depression

    What success will look like

    We encourage verbal feedback and in writing throughout the duration of the project, and feedback cards will be distributed regularly to evaluate the service

    Aim 3

    Increased inter-community relations within the Charedi Community with expanded networks of support


    » We bring local families together in a safe and supportive environment that is kosher and fully accessible to children with disabilities
    » We give Children an opportunity to meet and play with peers other than their siblings resulting in relationships and bonds for the next generation
    » We will facilitate women in the community supporting each other and establish relationships with their peers, increasing social cohesion

    What success will look like

    Play Workers are asked each day to tick their monitoring/evaluation form to assess if they notice interactions and improvements in relationships

    Aim 4

    Increased knowledge of the Norwood Somers Centre’s Family Support Services


    » We provide a taster of Norwood and encourage families to use other services such as parent drop-ins, social work, home service and afterschool clubs
    » Norwood staff will be able to identify signs of causes of concern such as distress, neglect or abuse and address these appropriately
    » Norwood staff will signpost families to other local providers using our knowledge of appropriate services that support the Orthodox Jewish community

    What success will look like

    We measure increases in numbers at the Somers Centre’s family support services and feedback forms will ask if mothers would be more inclined to use the Somers Centre

    Aim 5

    Attract volunteers to Norwood from both within the Orthodox Jewish and wider communities


    » We will advertise in the Orthodox community as a local project for local people to provide a greater sense of satisfaction enabling new relationships
    » We will encourage existing volunteers to support the project or to participate in a second placement for additional experience
    » Norwood’s Community Engagement and Volunteering team will train volunteers so we can manage expectations and avoid drop-outs

    What success will look like

    Our Community Engagement and Volunteering team will ask for expectations before the project and then seek feedback on whether Norwood met these

  • Impact


    Play is so important in a child's development,it is recognised by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. The summer scheme will develop their dexterity, physical strength, imagination, cognitive skills, confidence, and enables them to engage with others and socialise.

    Mothers will feel confident accessing Norwood services and know there is a place they can go if they have any issues.

    Feedback forms will evidence these changes with verbal feedback


    Oversubscription of families
    Families who have been referred by Social Workers, who are in need of the playscheme for their family’s wellbeing are prioritised. To book a place on the playscheme families must phone the Somers Centre the morning of the day they are attending.

    Injury of a child attending the playscheme
    Two trained First Aiders will be on hand at any time during the playscheme to manage situations needing medical attention and to notify the emergency services if necessary.


    We will provide a report detailing project progress sent to you on completion, however we are flexible to suit your reporting requirements.

    To respond to ad hoc requests for reports, Norwood keeps up-to-date with our own reporting, with service leads and management communicating regularly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £12,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,200 Staff Workers 8 permanent staff needed to work the summer scheme
      £2,500 Casual Play Workers 15 play workers
      £2,100 Entertainment & Rsources Mobile travelling farm, mobile reptile man, equipment for arts and crafts and sports, refreshments
      £1,200 Overheads Cost of venue, HR, Payroll, IT, Management
  • Background


    The project will take place in the Stamford Hill ward in the London Borough of Hackney the second most deprived Local Authority in England. The Institute for Jewish Policy Research suggests a third of the UK’s most deprived Jewish children are living in Hackney, exasperating resources. There are around 30,000 Hasidic Jews, the largest concentration of Charedi Jews in Europe. Due to high fertility the area has one of highest birth-rates in the UK, with a birth rate twice as high as the UK average


    The project benefits the Charedi community who have very specific cultural practices, which are integral to their way of life and family cohesion. For the community in Hackney, neighbourliness and a sense of community is vital to their quality of life.

    Family values are of great importance and part of the Charedi practice is to have many children at a young age. This leads to overcrowding and stretching of available provisions and resources, resulting in a disadvantaged way of life.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Norwood has built up a strong and trusted relationship with the Charedi community over many decades, and therefore understands the challenges faced by this community.

    Our Somers Centre was purpose built for this community and delivers health services which Charedi people feel comfortable accessing. Our services are sensitive to their specific cultural and religious needs and supervised under the Jewish authority so that our services meet the needs of the more observant Charedi families.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dollyanna Mordohai

    The Business Manager for our Family Support team, she has over 15 years experience in the voluntary sector specialising in social care.

    Ravi Walters

    Our Family Support Service Manager, who for 10 years been responsible for the strategic planning and development of the Somers Centre.

    Lena Spitzer

    The summer scheme will be managed by Norwood’s Senior Family Centre Worker Lena has worked for Norwood for over 18 years.

    Diane Frainer

    Diane, our Nursery Manager will coordinate the day-to-day activities and take responsibility for the sessional workers.