Summer celebrations at Gallows Close Centre

A group of people outside Gallows Close Centre

One thing we love at Two Ridings is getting out and about and visiting the community groups we support and in turn meeting their staff, volunteers and the people they support. It’s one of the best parts of our job! So Isabelle and Bec were delighted to spend the day at Gallows Close’s End-of-Summer Hawaiian BBQ and see, hear, smell and even taste all the good stuff going on.

Blessed with sunshine, outside the Centre children of all ages were scoring goals, playing on equipment, drawing, hula-hooping and generally having a fun time. With wonderfully decorated walls and fences, the area surrounding the building  has been created into a veg-growing wildlife haven, with raised beds, ponds and fruit trees – the whole space truly is a hidden little gem on the Barrowcliff estate in Scarborough.

Festooned with Hawaiian garlands, inside the centre was buzzing with children and adults being creative, chatting, playing drums with a great smell of food being cooked and a BBQ starting.

Several staff told us their stories of how they had come to work at Gallows and how much it had helped them. One who had been agoraphobic since her kids had grown up, feeling low, lonely and not able to leave her house. But  slowly being encouraged by the incredible Kimmie, first to volunteer and then as a much loved staff member.

Kimmie, the Chief Exec is the heart of centre, but it definitely feels like a huge family supporting one another with her at the helm.

Kimmie Chief Executive of Gallows Close outside the centre

Another staff member talked about the Gallows Centre saving him ten years previously when he was homeless and suicidal and him very happy to give back and encourage the young people who attend to find the things they are interested in, to partake and support one another.

collage of people at Gallows Close Centre

There was an overwhelming feeling of support and happiness there. And on one wall a statement painted encouraging kids not to compare themselves with others, but to celebrate the things they enjoy and to get along with each other and be generous and happy for them.

It’s a sentiment echoed throughout the centre.

A boy and a teenager standing outside a wall with writing on it

Every child we spoke to loved coming to Gallows and many of the older ones told us how important it was to have the space to be themselves and they in turned volunteered to help out with the younger ones.

Certificates were given out to all the children attending the summer school, often with a humorous anecdotes about them. Everyone was happy to celebrate each other’s achievements and the parents and carers were beaming. The Mayor and Mayoress of Scarborough joined in the celebrations and even did a little hula dance at the end!

Burgers, Hot dogs and baked potatoes were enjoyed, more awards, thank yous and hugs given out to staff and volunteers and the day ended poignantly with a few people telling their stories about things that had changed their lives and how important the time and connection with the Gallows centre is.

It was a wonderful way to end the summer and a privilege for us at Two Ridings to be part of it.