“Ffions time at the main lighthouse was less than a year but I feel it’s had a big and positive impact for her:
My daughter attended lighthouse for nearly a year and still goes to the teen group. She had come out of a school environment where she had sometimes felt excluded for being a bit different, so it took her a little bit of time to get used to a completely different style of engaging with other children and the adult facilitators.
It was a revelation to her to find a community where she had a voice, was accepted for who she was, and was included in decisions and all activity. She really liked being able to express her opinions freely and decide together what workshops they wanted to do. I have seen her confidence and maturity grow and witnessed her take more control over her own life direction. She is now volunteering a day a week at a marine life charity, which is her passion. I believe that her time at the Lighthouse has played a significant role in her development and has given her and myself an insight into what a safe and nurturing learning environment can look like.”
“My daughter, now 13 has been going to lighthouse for 2 years now. I am so grateful for what it has given her (and us).
*She had the space and freedom to play and explore. Being outdoors and in the beautiful setting surrounded by nature, i know is so nourishing for her.
* The facilitated and held, yet self directed structure allows her to free flow over the course of a whole day; joining in with games or watching, trying something new or having some quiet time-all of that is welcome, just however she shows up that day.
* The mixed age group friendships have felt really mutually beneficial and give a balanced and family feel to the group.
*The facilitators are really supportive, to the individuals as well as holding the group as a whole. They listen to the children and allow for their voices to be heard, whether it is managing conflicts or planning activities, all with a focus on giving consent. It has been so reassuring to me that she is in kind, capable, caring hands.
* The morning group check ins are a grounding coming together where there is a space to practice checking in with herself; asking for things, offering things, contributing an opinion to a group and has allowed her sense of self and confidence to grow.
* the workshops run by outside facilitators like clay and basket weaving, first aid, robotics, dungeons and dragons have meant that she’s tried lots of different things, learnt loads and interacted with many different adults.
* Lighthouse has really nourished her, and really supported us as a family on our self directed learning journey! She has gained so much from Lighthouse- I really am so grateful.”
“My daughter went to the Lighthouse for almost a year and still goes to the Lighthouse Teen group. Her confidence and self-esteem vastly improved in this time. Her sense of being in the driving seat of her own life decisions has been a maturing process for her. If mainstream school isn’t for you, I thoroughly recommend Lighthouse. Its a safe, nurturing space for young people to grow and develop according to their own unique talents and interests.”
“This is such a lovely opportunity for those home educating. The chance to learn skills not taught in schools such as how to collectively reach decisions that take into account everyone’s views are invaluable. The respect and care these kids show each other is wonderful to see. The facilitators are amazing.”
“I feel so lucky to be a member of the Lighthouse project. To work with an organisation that is held with so much care and kindness is incredible. I look forward to every single day of work! How lucky I am to be able to say that?!
I am constantly blown away by how much love, care and consideration the group has for each other. They support, encourage, complement, engage, uplift and inspire each other. Held by core values of nurturing community and relationships, the group is able to make decisions based on what is best for the group as a whole. This means everyone is considered and valued and it creates space for us all to be open and honest about how we really feel. Its amazing to hear young people share their needs and feelings openly.
One of the best parts of my job as a facilitator is watching the transformation that happens at Lighthouse. I have watched new members transform (within just a few months) from being too shy to talk or join in, to becoming cornerstones of the group; now confident enough to be a ‘buddy’ for the next new members.
Lighthouse seems to enable young people to show up as themselves, just as they are. This means we are fortunate enough to be able to celebrate everyone’s uniqueness and passions.
And that means every day is different. So in one day it is possible to: forage for herbs, run a chess tournament, cook pancakes on the fire, play word games, cover ourselves in mud, have a debate or discussion around a topical issue, play DnD, get a sewing machine up and running, have a party, read stories by the fire, run until we are exhausted, create puppets for StopMotion, build a style and… anything is possible! It’s up to the group!”
Hannah Rounding, Facilitator