Hope UK’s young people had a fun-filled few days in East London recently.

Kicking off the weekend was a hip hop dance workshop led by professional dancer Tyrone Isaac-Stuart. To begin with everyone’s movements were timid but after fifteen minutes everyone was giving it their all and laughing at their attempts to try and co-ordinate the head, shoulders, hips and feet – all at the same time. By the end of the session everyone was confidently showing off newly acquired skills of body rolling, finger-tutting and the ‘bounce’.

Tyrone completed the session in a true street dance fashion by announcing a dance battle which required energy, confidence, determination and the ‘stare’ to intimidate the opposing team. As it so turned out the leaders took this very seriously and were arguably more competitive than the young people themselves.

On Saturday morning, we thought about ‘identity’ considering who, or what, in society shapes our identity and how we stand unique and be our own selves in a world where we are told what to do.

After lunch it was activities outdoors in the park – predominantly playing dodgeball in the air. Once everyone had enough fresh air we returned to the venue where a Ready Steady Cook team competition awaited us! Two groups each 50 minutes to produce two dishes (one sweet, one savoury) from ingredients chosen by the weekend organisers. The dishes were then tasted and judged by three leaders who were looking for; Presentation, Originality and Taste.

The judges enjoyed tasting all the dishes and were impressed by the passion and creativity that the young people put into the dishes!

On Sunday we had a prayer and reflection session (led by one of our older Generation Hope members) and then another session on ‘Identity’ where discussions were had on how we can grow in our identity with God and how we can love others (even if we do not get on with them).

Our final activity before going home was playing the Swedish Newspaper Game (a Hope UK favourite!) before everyone said their goodbyes and went home to sleep….and the leaders were left to clean up all the bits of newspaper lying on the floor.