Kids’ afterschool club celebrates its 15th birthday

20/7/2011 (PM)''Kings Kids are celebrating 15 years of the after school kids club which focuses on arts and crats and lots of fun.''Pictured is: Gareth Benton (38) minister at the King's Church in Elm Grove, Southsea which runs Kings Kids. With some of the children from Cottage Grove Primary School who take part in the after school club. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (112574-4002)
20/7/2011 (PM)''Kings Kids are celebrating 15 years of the after school kids club which focuses on arts and crats and lots of fun.''Pictured is: Gareth Benton (38) minister at the King's Church in Elm Grove, Southsea which runs Kings Kids. With some of the children from Cottage Grove Primary School who take part in the after school club. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (112574-4002)
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It’s a club that has proven popular among two generations – and this month King’s Kids celebrates its 15th birthday.

King’s Kids was set up by a group of volunteers from King’s Church, in Elm Grove, Southsea.

The club aims to give children in the Somers Town area a chance to gain confidence and explore different activities.

It started out with around 70 children taking part, but now more than 100 kids attend each week.

The club runs after school in Somers Park School, Somers Road, and Cottage Grove School, Chivers Close.

Gareth Benton, minister of the church, said: ‘The club has been incredibly popular – some of the children who used to come to King’s Kids years ago now have their children coming along.

‘At the church we like to think about people outside the church community.

‘Initially parents had told us there wasn’t a lot in the area for children, so we decided to set up the club for children to come to.

‘We also visit 250 homes a week and we have a colouring competition.’

He added: ‘The idea is to try to help build relationships between the church, parents and families. And it has proved to be really successful.

‘Our programme is fun and fast-moving. It is church for kids, but children from all faiths are welcome to take part.’

The club has been funded by the church.

To celebrate its birthday a special ceremony took place on Sunday at Portsmouth High School in Kent Road, Southsea.

Current and former members of the club, plus families, were invited to attend.

Children got to show parents what they would do at the club.

Former clubgoer Kayleigh Roberts, 25, of Victoria Road South, Southsea, remembers her time there.

She said: ‘I used to go to the club when I was younger.

‘I had gone along because it gave me something to do after school and the chance to meet children and make friends.’

Now her daughter, Faith Chapman, aged five, also goes to the club.

She said: ‘I like coming along because it’s fun and I get to learn different things.’

Samira Safa, 43, of Warwick Crescent, Southsea, sends her daughter Marianne Lanigan, eight, to the club.

She said: ‘It’s been a great way for her to socialise.

‘The club tries to give confidence to the children and I can see that in Marianne.

‘I will send her to the club for as long as she wants to go.’

To find out more visit kingschurchportsmouth.co.uk.