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Last weekend, we joined the Youth & Transition team and some of our amazing volunteers for an action-packed Network Saturday youth group with some of the young people of Helen & Douglas House. The session was full of laughter, delicious homecooked food and lots of games! As well as some friendly competition, the young people enjoyed socialising and making memories together.

What is Network Saturday?

Network Saturdays are youth group sessions run every month to provide the young people we care for aged 13-19 a chance to get together to socialise, gain confidence and chat about shared experiences in a fun and accessible space. While the group is primarily run by the Youth and Transition workers, Emma, and Polly, the itinerary is very much in the hands of the young people! They’ve been long requesting a gaming session, so with the help of Mike from GHM Communications and our volunteers, consoles, board games, card games, Lego and table football were all set up.

Collage of people playing games

Eurovision chat

The morning was spent playing games and building Lego until lunch was served up by the catering team. The young people, volunteers and staff were chatting over a delicious fry up, and one of the young people spoke about how he and his family were soon heading off on an exciting road trip to the Eurovision final in Sweden!

Being part of the 'herd'

After lunch, the group gathered round and played and ‘Moo’d’ at eachother in several rounds of ‘Herd Mentality’ with the young people taking charge as the ‘question master’. Activities like these really help to make the young people feel included and helps them to build relationships with others.

Network Saturday is an important part of the young peoples lives – it gives them a chance to engage socially with their actual peers in a safe and accessible environment. 


Often our young people are inadvertently excluded from mainstream groups, so it is vital for them to meet new people and make new friends, which sadly doesn’t always happen in a school environment.


We have people who are part of the group who had never met anyone else with the same disability and that has been really important for them to meet others with similar life experiences.


Seeing individuals come out of their shells, gain confidence, be cheeky, and learn new skills is such a wonderful and heart-warming thing to see; they really help and support each other.


They feel included and part of a group, and hopefully these friendships will go with them into adulthood.


Emma, Youth Transition Worker

Somewhere to connect with others

Being part of a club and having somewhere to connect with friends is something everyone finds happiniess from. For our young people, Network Saturday’s are that place. A place where they can relax and share common ground with others.

I enjoy connecting with people similar to me. I enjoy the atmosphere and activities arranged by the amazing team, made even better by the supportive staff – one of the young people.

A snippet from the session

A thank you to our volunteers

We’d like to thank our amazing volunteers, Anvita, Zoe and Rachel for helping make the session so great, and to Mike for helping with the gaming set up. 

What's coming up in future Network Saturdays?

For the young people, having groups like Network Saturdays are hugely beneficial and Emma and Polly work hard to provide them with activities that will support their social development and set them up for a successful adult life. 

This year we are going on a boat trip and hope to go out to the cinema and bowling. In doing external trips we hope that the young people gain independence and confidence to use public transport as well as interacting with the public too. 


Polly, Youth & Transition Worker