The team at a village facility is hoping that merging three groups into one and offering new activities will increase the number of young people attending its sessions.
Pegswood Community Hub’s Monday drama group has extended to include more aspects of performing arts such as singing and dancing, as well as set-building and other stage work.
Participants will also be working on a couple of non-stage performing activities – animation and film-making.
In addition, the venue is adding to its already busy after-school groups by introducing a ‘stepping stone’ session aimed at 11 to 14-year-olds.
Monday group leader Emma Anderson said that the activities in the session include ukulele lessons and the change will help when it comes to preparing for public performances at the hub.
She added: “We had separate sessions for drama, dance and the ukulele on three different days and there were only a few children in each of them. Having three groups was not ideal for some of the parents who bring their children here.
“We decided that having one larger group where we do two or three things during a session will be better for everyone. It will be good for the children because varying the activities and running two or three projects at the same time will help to keep them motivated.
“Another benefit is that they can support each other. For example, someone in the group who is good at dancing is able to help another who has talent with the ukulele but finds dancing quite hard, and vice versa.
“The first couple of sessions have gone well – one of the things they have been doing is storyboarding for an animation they will put together.
“Hopefully, the group will grow in numbers in the weeks and months ahead.”
The 11-14 session starts next month and it will be held each Wednesday.
It will include more advanced activities than the ones available at the arts and crafts after-school group that runs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Ms Anderson said: “This session is for children who are a little old for our usual activities, but can be a little young for youth drop-in activities.
“As part of this provision, we’re looking to put things in place that will interest many of the boys of that age group in Pegswood, as it is mainly girls who attend the Wednesday dance and gymnastics sessions.
“For example, we’ve been in touch with martial arts instructors and the owner of a ‘war games’ shop in Ashington is keen to come along.”
For more information about the new groups and what is on offer for young people at Pegswood Community Hub, call 01670 512185.