Following our actionable research project in East Hull to understand the needs of children, young people and their families. The Maximum Life Youth project was formed in January 2004. Under the direction of Imagine Projects local people were able to realise their their dream of making a difference to the lives of local children, young people and their families.
Max Life is based at Kingston Wesley Methodist Church on Holderness Road in East Hull. The area around Kingston Wesley is an area of mixed social and economic need. There are areas of severe deprivation and also some affluence.
During the inception stage of the project we had successfully started a variety of groups and activities at Kingston Wesley, including provision for children and young people including annual holiday clubs, family fun days, after school clubs and a recording studio.
We were fortunate to have several uniformed groups using the building on a weekly basis. These included Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Boys Brigade. The strategy was to engage with these groups on a regular basis. We encouraged these groups and their leaders to be part of the monthly family parade service.
There was also a sizeable cohort of young people congregating at the Kingston Wesley Methodist Church building because they lacked alternative activities.
The research project included these young people and local schools Three main areas if interest became apparent
When we saw the fruit from these activities, the findings of the research and the support of a dedicated team of local people we decided to explore setting up a dedicated charity for this work to develop further. This was the inception of Max Life.
We formed a steering group and a team of trustees to plan the development of the Maximum Life Youth project.
We formed the charity and converted a disused flat at Kingston Wesley into a suite of offices. We also created a set of polices and procedures and insurance cover.
Our slogan was “Helping children, young people and their families to reach their full potential”.
Our mission statement: “The Maximum Life Youth Project exists to help children, young people and their families to grow mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, economically and spiritually and so empowering them to reach their full potential”.
Our Values: creativity, inclusivity, family, friends, honesty, integrity, respect and caring.
In terms of funding the project, we successfully secured funds from local and national charitable trusts. We were able to employ a full time youth development worker and a part time administrator. Our initial funders for these posts were, Children In Need, The Church Urban Fund and Tudor Trust. We also held family fun days and other exciting fund raising events.
We later added a part-time children’s worker to the staff and other sessional workers, as we needed them.
So with a good building, a willing group of volunteers, a professional team of trustees, dedicated staff and a Imagine Projects Project Manager we were up and running.
As time went on the profile of activities developed to include a far bigger range of holiday clubs, fun days and after school clubs and also workshops including a living history project with the local secondary school. Drawing together people who had served in the forces during the Second World War to tell their stories to a group of young people chosen by the school.
As one of main themes was music and technology. We were able to secure funding from Awards for All, to transform two disused rooms at Kingston Wesley into a professional recording studio.
Other workshops included developing skills in drumming, guitar playing, creative writing, puppetry, dance, photography, photo editing and design workshop, journalism, ICT, and image editing in addition to the range of regular weekly activity clubs.
The sustainability of the project was ensured through a robust financial business plan, the implementation of clear goals and objectives, all of which were in line with our mission, vision and values.
The robust financial plan included a mixed economy of income from charitable trusts, personal giving, fund raising events, major donors and regular income through the recording studio, café and bookings for conferences at Kingston Wesley by outside organisations.
The holistic nature of the project and its professional governance ensured the project became sustainable.