During lockdown KHL had to think of new and innovative ways to keep people’s minds and bodies as active as possible, whilst pulling resources from other community groups. Under the Keighley Connect Project (funded by the Lottery Community Fund) we launched the Skipping Project.
One of the weekly groups we had supported during year one of the Connect project was a Men’s Shed group. We approached them to see if they could make some skipping ropes. What developed was an amazing opportunity to connect Keighley through skipping.
The Men’s Shed in collaboration with the Council Heritage Park Officer made 200 beautiful hand turned skipping ropes. KHL funded a further 800 skipping ropes to distribute to people wanting to take part in skipping.
Men’s Shed members were given doorstep drop offs of skipping rope handles to sand and varnish. They were then collected and made into skipping ropes at the Shed. The skipping project and the Men’s Shed involvement making hand turned handles was shared and replicated throughout the country at other Men Sheds.
We were able to connect further with local schools and offer skipping lessons in school to the children attending during the first lockdown.
One thing led to another and the project grew into one that local shops were involved with… it offered an opportunity to produce a second video, this linked to local independent shops skipping in front of their premises as well local councillors and the Keighley Mayor skipping. Shops had a supply of ropes to give out to people that wanted to get skipping.
Connect funding offered the opportunity to start offering resources as soon as the first lockdown happened. Other funding bodies soon recognised the importance of resources and activities for families and children during this time. We were able to access other funding and continue this work.
Over the lockdown period, we were fortunate to be supported by Keighley Healthy Living with a variety of activity kits for our pupils. These were extremely well received by families who were isolating and isolated at home and ensured that they had lifelines through the contact details/help sheets included but also activities for their children to do while in the home. One of the best received activities was the skipping project.
We were able to facilitate this on the school site for our pupils who were attending school at the time. The session was led by a KHL worker and pupils took part in small groups; they were able to take their skipping ropes home with them afterwards.
This was a great way to introduce pupils to an activity they could do at home to keep fit and healthy but the bonus was they could then take the equipment home to facilitate them actually being able to do this. The smiles of delight and pleasure on the children’s faces as they took part were a joy to see and many of them report that they ‘Still have my skipping rope’ and ‘I’m getting better at skipping now – I can do 50!’
We are very grateful for the support of KHL over the years here at Eastwood and would want the public and other agencies to be aware of the positive impact of their work on our community.