14 July 2015

With a busy schedule consisting of school, homework, after-school activities and work, many families struggle to find time to spend together in a stress-free and relaxing atmosphere.

For young people, their relationship with their parents isn’t always so easy either, as they try to find their identity whilst negotiating boundaries, responsibilities and their freedom.

Makeover and photoshoot

That’s why the youth workers at the ROOM Projects at YMCA John Innes came up with the idea of a ‘Mum & Daughter’ Photoshoot Day’ at the centre, aimed at mums and daughters in their early teenage years who wanted to spend some quality time together.

On Saturday 27 June, the centre was transformed into a beauty parlour slash photo studio. There were strawberries, chocolates, wine jellies and sparkling orange juice. The families could have their hair styled by Molly, a professional hair stylist volunteering at the centre, and if they wanted to, they could get a makeover too.

Wendy, a volunteer youth worker at YMCA St Paul’s Group, set up a photo studio in the large sports hall which is usually used for music jam and sports sessions.


The first mum and daughter couple that came were South Korean born Heewon Kang and her daughter Sol. Heewon moved to Kingston upon Thames in South West London a while back, whilst Sol still lives with her dad in South Korea.

Visiting her mum in England, this was a perfect opportunity for this mum and daughter who had seen each other very little over the last year, to spend some time together. The photos that came out were lovely, and they clearly had fun in front of the camera.

Heewon said: “I divorced about 5 years ago in Korea and despite all the legal effort, I had to live separately from my daughter. She has just come to UK and I want to make my daughter feel she is very important to me. Spending time with her alone was so special”.

Big success

Paul Rook, Youth Support Worker at YMCA LSW, was really happy with how the day went. He said:

Our Mums & Daughters Day at YMCA John Innes Youth centre was a big success! We had mums and daughters come and take part in a free pampering session where they were encouraged to do each other’s make-up, have their hair styled and then a free photography session. For one family it was even about celebrating their reunion.”