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Theydon Youth Club

Theydon Youth News Page

Hello and welcome to the new edition of Theydon Youth News! I hope you enjoy all the latest news that's been happening in Theydon and if you have any more updates or ad's you would like me to display or any queries then please don't hesitate to email me :)

Ellie Bedwell

Theydon Bois Astrokyds

Astrokyds is a group for young astronomers (6 - 14 years) run by some members of the Loughton Astronomical Society. It has been running in Theydon Bois and still going strong for over 10 years now! Meetings are held on the second Friday of every month from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at St Mary's Church Hall.

Activities include simple experiments, audience participation, demonstrations, show and tell, quizes, mythology of the constellations and, if clear, some real observing. The aim is to kindle the interests rather than to provide a formal course in astronomy. Even some of the parents have been caught listening and in one case taking notes. Some of the more advanced young astronomers help out with some of the talks and demonstrations.

I was part of the Astrokyds for nearly 4 years and learnt a tremendous amount about astronomy, which I still take a keen interest in now! Every meeting there was always something different to look forward to, and Brian and the team always made sure to make it fun-filled and truly exciting with lots of interactive activities. The best bits were always the winter meetings where we got to look through telescopes to see planets and constellations from the Church Hall car park! This even spurred my dad (a keen astronomer, who also took notes!) to buy our own telescope where we used to spend Saturday nights looking over Theydon fields observing planets and the stars - I've seen Saturn with its rings from my own back garden! I would truly recommend such a wonderful society to everyone young and old. It equips people of all stages with knowledge and enthusiasm about astronomy that will never be lost, as well as creating new friendships that will last a very long time :) (Ellie Bedwell).

If you think your young astronomer(s) would like to join the group in Theydon Bois or you would like some advice on setting up your own group then please phone Brian Morton on 01992 815804 or email him. If you would like more information about Astrokyds or the Loughton Astronomical Society visit:

The next dates for the diary are:

10 Feb 2012: Probes to the outer Solar System

09 Mar 2012: Gravity, light, the colours of stars

They do not meet in August or April, even astromoners need some time off!

Davenant Pupils help at successful Theydon Seniors Event

On Friday 25th November, I, along with fellow my fellow peers at Davenant Foundation School, voluntarily helped at the Theydon Bois Seniors Christmas Party. It was a very successful and pleasant afternoon with both the young and the' young at heart 'all joining together with music, singing and lots of cake!

Everyone enjoyed watching the Theydon Bois Primary School pupils sing lots of Christmas songs and we joined in with those that both they and 'Singing 4 Fun' played. We were very humbled and entertained by the local seniors who look forward to this event every year, and had many stories to tell us of their children and grandchildren - many of whom were associated with Davenant in one way or another. One pupil, Melissa Wood, even sung an impromptu performance of 'Silent Night', of which the whole room was silenced by such a beautiful voice.

We were all so glad that we had the opportunity to attend such a lovely event and took great pleasure in knowing our help was much appreciated by both the seniors and the amazing volunteers from the Parish Council who made the afternoon a huge success with lovely homemade cakes, pouring endless cups of tea and all the 'backstage' jobs in-between.

Ellie Bedwell

My Trip to South Africa!

On the 9th August 2011 I was lucky enough to join a team of 20 UK students jetting out to Durban, South Africa, for three weeks. We were out there doing voluntary work for a charity called Hillcrest Aids, which is based in Hillcrest near The Valley of A Thousand Hills. The charity works with families who are affected/infected by HIV/Aids. The charity has set up many income-generation projects for the local people and families of patients to make sure many of them have some kind of self- sustaining income whilst going through such a tragedy. You can find out more at

South Africa 01

The three week project involved working in a school called KwaManzini Primary School in a township area on one of the Valley's. All of the children in this school are the few lucky ones across this region in South Africa to be going to school and nearly all were Zulu, with English as their second language. We were helping them because many of the children had family who were infected/affected by HIV or they themselves had developed it. We had planned in the two weeks while we were in the school to totally redecorate and paint their classrooms and had also designed our own lesson plans to teach them in smaller groups and show them a bit of our English culture as well as have lots of fun with them. We split the classes of Grade 6 and 7 into 4 subject areas - English, Maths, Music Art Drama (MAD) and PE. The school had very few resources and was not very well kept, and the 'field' they had for us to do PE on was unfortunately just a dusty, sandy bit of earth. In turn, we found that this made the children so appreciative of everything we did for them and for all the resources we had left behind for them that we had bought out with us - especially stickers, footballs and pencils! We had successfully decorated 8 classrooms in 8 days which was extremely hard work as all the classrooms were made of brick and not plaster, so paint had to have many layers, and with all the cleaning we had to do we also came across dozens of cockroaches and even a rat!! However, the look on their faces for everything we had done for them by the end of the two weeks made everything so worthwhile. I'm sure none of us will forget that feeling of pride and joy that overwhelmed us on our last day when we were presented with gifts, handmade cards and a music performance for us all to enjoy, I never wanted to leave!!

South Africa 02As well as the hard work we had put in for 10 days, we were also treated with a bit of luxury as we all stayed with host families who lived about half an hour away in more affluent areas, called Kloof and Pinetown. We were matched with these families before going out to South Africa and this is where we stayed every night of the trip. Each weekend they would also take us out to places of our choice and really looked after us. I thoroughly enjoyed staying with my family and by then end of the three weeks I really felt like I had a second family in South Africa which I could go back to anytime! Some examples of where they took me were a marine sea life centre called uShaka, Durban North beach, the cinema, and a family fun day in Durban as I had the pleasure of the company of 18 month old twin 'siblings' for three weeks - soo adorable!

As if that wasn't enough, on our first weekend in South Africa we were also treated to a small trip to St.South Africa 01 Lucia Wetland Park, north of Durban, where we went on Safari for a day! We were incredibly lucky enough to see wild dog, rhino, hippo, crocodile, impala, and buffalo (2 of the Big 5!) but sadly no elephant or lion. We loved learning about the South African culture; food being a very big part of it! We cooked two 'Braais', which is what the British might call a BBQ, but the meat in South Africa is amazing! A lot of us took recipes home for our families such a Milk Tart and Samp (a traditional Zulu dish). We all got along so well with each other on this trip and are now all very close friends, and hope to stay in contact with each other for a very long time.

Overall, this was an amazing experience, one which I will never forget. It has really changed my perspectives of the things I take for granted at home and has also exhilarated me in the knowledge that we may have actually made some of those children's lives more exciting and hopeful knowing there are people out there who want to help them. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who would be thinking of applying through the charity and for a personal gain in strength, commitment, hard work and delight.

New "Time to Shine" Dance School

September saw the opening of a new dance school in the Theydon Community centre offering classes in tap, ballet, modern and street jazz. Sandra Westburyne chose Theydon Bois as she started her dancing career in St Mary's Hall at the age of just 3 years old, and would love now to give the children the same great opportunity that she had growing up. "It has always been my dream to own my own dance school, and now with 19 years of experience of dancing professionaly and teaching, I feel now is the right "time to shine"".

Epping Forest Youth Council

The Epping Forest Youth Council forms a group of young people working together to change Epping Forest District for the better, by voicing the views of young people who want to be heard, to those who can make it happen. The Youth Council aims to give young people a voice in this community. I feel this to be an article relevant to the youth of Theydon Bois if you really want your voice to be heard. Below, I have an interview with a colleague of mine on the Youth Council, telling us about her roles, and the recent Youth Project they did that involved Theydon Youth... Hopefully this may inspire you to join or even just hear about other youth projects you could be involved with in the district.

Interview with Yasmin Levy-Miller

How did you get to be on the Epping Forest Youth Council?

I heard about Epping Forest Youth Council (EFYC) in assembly at school, I thought it sounded interesting so I decided to find out some more information. I asked my teacher for an application booklet, which told me all the information about what being a youth councilor would involve. I decided that it would be a good cause to dedicate my time to. After all I am a young person living in the Epping Forest District, the issues that effect young people affect me too.I applied and I was lucky enough to get 'elected'. There is a section in the application form which asks you to write down your ideas, you have for the district and you have to write about why you would like to be a youth councilor and why you think you would be good at the job. If you're lucky enough to get elected then you have a commitment to serve for 2 years.

What is your role being on the youth council? What sorts of things do you do?

Our role as a youth council is to find out the issues that most affect young people in the district and try and do something about them. It's about asking young people what they think of the area in which we live, what they don't like, what they would like to be changed. We have meetings once a fortnight (or more if we're working on a big project). We've done lots of training for chairing meetings, communication skills, team building and lots more.

Tell us about the recent Youth project the Youth council have done...

The two big projects that we've done as a youth council are the Youth Conference in March 2010.We consulted with 80 year ten students about what the main issues they faced living in Epping Forest. This day was organized by the youth councillors, we had a quiz and even a live debate that was streamed on the internet where we debated whether or not the voting age should be lowered to 16.A good day was had by all and the youth council were able to gain a true picture of the issues that effect young people. The main issue that came out of the day was that there was a lack of things to do in Epping Forest. This gave us our idea for our new project. We decided to find all of the youth centres in the area and evaluated them; we then published a tube style map of all of the youth centres in the area. We held an awards evening for the youth centres to commend them for the great work they do. At the end of this project we found out that there really us so much to do in the area-you just need to look for it.

Would you recommend the Youth Council to other young local people? Why?

I would definitely recommend the Youth Council to other young people. The experience I've gained in my time so far as a youth councilor has been invaluable. EFYC gives you skills that you will be able to use in later life -teamwork, communication and also it really helps you to think outside the box when we're brainstorming ideas. I've made so many new friends through the youth council, that's definitely one of the best bits, meeting new people. It has improved my confidence and given me the chance to use my public speaking skills. At some points EFYC has been hard work, like when we're finishing our projects it can get a little stressful. But it's worth it when you've finished a project as a team, there's a real sense of pride and satisfaction. The Youth Council has been a really worthwhile experience and I would recommend it to any young person who really wants to make a difference to Epping Forest.

Here are the Youth Maps and contact details that were created by the Youth Council...


Explorer Scouts and Beavers

Are you looking for a fun new challenge? New practical skills?

Can you volunteer some time to help young people?

The Theydon Bois Scout Group are looking to recruit new uniformed leaders for all sections (Beavers right through to Explorers) which will help us offer scouting to more young people, and support our current uniformed team. Scouting is open to all young people aged 6 to 25 of every faith and background.

The roles mainly involve helping to plan, prepare and run a weekly balanced programme of activities that are appropriate to the section you work with, usually this will be at the Headquarters in Theydon Bois, but may be out and about especially for older section. The roles also involve attending planning meetings and training sessions as well as possibly helping at sleepovers/camps.

We are looking for people who like having fun whilst being organised, that have that can-do approach and are willing to try new activities and help young people get the best from Scouting.

Volunteering as a uniformed leader can be a rewarding experience and great fun at the same time. Full training will be given appropriate to the roles available to ensure the best possible exeperiences in scouting for both adults and young people. Everyone helping in scout association has to be CRB (criminal records bureau) checked and complete the first few modules of training prior to being able to start.

If you are interested in volunteering as a uniformed leader and think you are able to donate some time to become part of our current team then please contact our Group Scout Leader, Jane Ellison on 07734 791718.

If anyone wishes to join Beavers, Cubs or Scouts they should contact Jane Ellison;; or myself Beryl Frankel or on tel no 01992 613029. If you are interested in becoming an explorer or you would like more information about the section please contact Paul Vincent on

St. Mary's Junior Church

St Mary's Junior Church meets every Sunday at 10am apart from the first Sunday of the month (Family Service) and school holidays. Children from 3 years old are welcome and are invited to join in Bible stories, craft activities and games. If you'd like more information on these or would like to join our group, then please contact Fiona Bradley 01992 813589 or 07703 582502 or

Theydon Bois Cricket Club

If you, or you know someone who would be interested in playing cricket and would like to join this friendly Club, send an email to . Further information is also available on the Club's website which can be found at

Theydon Tennis

Hello, my name is Victoria Bedwell and I will be reporting on what happens at Theydon Bois Lawn Tennis Club on a monthly basis.

The club has been running as usual and we are still at the top of our game. With the support of our wonderful coaches and dedicated parents and players, another year has been full of fantastic achievements and proudness of all the goals every player has improved on and reached.

If you're interested, come down and join us! You can find us on the Theydon Bois Lawn Tennis Club website or email us on: or fill in a form at the club. Any queries please contact Richard or Ian whose numbers are on the club website.



Youth Pages edited by Ellie Bedwell. Copyright Theydon Bois Village Website & Contributors