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Phab UK is a charity that promotes and encourages people of all abilities to come together on equal terms, to achieve complete inclusion within the wider community.
In partnership with Merchant Taylors’ School, we have launched a Phab Club which takes place fortnightly after school on Friday afternoons at St Helen’s and provides a safe, comfortable and fun youth club experience for teenagers with disabilities and learning needs and valuable respite for their families.
Phab Club activities include parties and discos, and workshops in music, art and crafts and multimedia. St Helen’s Phab Club volunteers receive training which teaches them how to support our guests and meet regularly to plan the youth club sessions. This gives our students a profound sense of responsibility and service to others.
Irrespective of the co-curricular option which they have chosen in Years 10 and 11, pupils may apply to join the Phab Team in the Sixth Form. Approximately 10 Year 12 students, alongside a similar number of Merchant Taylors’ boys, are selected to join the Phab Team after a rigorous process of application, interview and assessment.
Membership of the Phab Team is a two-year commitment, and students who take part in Phab find it to be one of the most inspiring and life-changing experiences of their time in the Sixth Form.
They spend a great deal of time during the school year raising the funds needed to run Phab Week, most of which is raised by the School community through a variety of events.
Phab Week has been a fixture in the St Helen’s and Merchant Taylors’ calendar for over 45 years. During the Easter holidays, pupils from St Helen’s School and Merchant Taylors’ School run a week of activities for around 20 boys and girls living with disabilities, hosted at Merchant Taylors’ School.
This residential week allows the guests and hosts to share experiences and to make new friends. It also provides parents and carers of the guests with a well-deserved week of rest and respite, as the students and staff take on responsibility for all aspects of their guests’ care for the week.
Activities for the guests include trips to activity centres and places of interest, community discos and parties, and the chance to use the climbing wall at St Helen’s!