Post Banging on Mere Footpath
Leisure Credits Project
leisure credits is a project which involves young people going out and doing practical conservation work in their local area, which benefits their community.
The young people that take part in the project gain skills by using tools to clear scrub and making products, they also benefit by developing social skills and teamwork skills and they gain a good work ethic.
These sessions allow the young people earn credits based on their efforts which can be spent on reward activities and training courses. Leisure credit work sessions run on alternate Saturdays as well as two days a week during school holidays. We work across the South-West Wiltshire area. Transport, refreshments and safety equipment are provided for these sessions.
“I take part in Leisure Credits because I live in the middle of nowhere and it gives me the opportunity to get out and make new friends as well as learning new skills” (B aged 15)
“It has increased my confidence and has given me new skills” (E aged 15)
“Leisure credits is useful to me because it helps me get out and meet people I may not have met before, it also gives me something to look forward to” (J aged 14)
National Citizen Service
NCS is a national program for 16 and 17 year olds which develops understanding and experience of social action whilst enhancing key skills such as communication, co-operation, team work and leadership as well as developing their confidence, personal and social skills.
This involves them taking part in residential experiences, training opportunities, planning and delivering a team social action project as well as gaining multiple skills and qualifications.
“I loved doing NCS as it introduced a range of opportunities to me. I enjoyed it loads and loved meeting new people” (J aged 16)
"NCS made me overcome some of my biggest fears and made me face challenges that I would never picture myself facing. I gained so many strong friendships over the 6 week period. It strengthened me as a person especially my team work and the ability to use my own initiative. I gained multiple qualifications which were essential for me to progress into my future career goals which includes first aid, food hygiene etc. I would recommend NCS to anyone it is a once in a lifetime opportunity" (S, aged 18).
Social Action News
We would like to thank Sammi Haynes, a parent of young people who attend some of our projects, for organising and running a charity Bingo and Raffle night which was held at Hindon Fellowship club on Saturday 22nd October. In total, this event raised a grand total £1075 which will be put towards reward trips for the young people who do Leisure Credits. Thank you Sammi, and thank you to all who helped on the evening.
Recently we have been doing work in Mere, mostly down at the footbridge. We have been visiting this site regularly to keep it neat for months, however we were approached to do some work in the river recently by the Mere River Association. In action of this, we have been clearing out the river as before it had previously had a very slow flow. To fix this we have taken out fallen trees and dropped litter from the river and we have installed some revetments to stop the bank from falling in.
As well as doing this, we have also been clearing the footpath just across the other side of the bridge for the Wiltshire Rights Of Way team. We have taken down old fencing, widened the path ad re-fenced in order to give wheelchair access to the path. the path is still having improvements made and hopefully some chipping or hard ground will be added to make it safer for pedestrians.
In around April, we started work on a series of footpaths in Sedgehill, with some help from Alex at Wiltshire Rights of Way. These were requested by Admiral Sir William O’Brien, a 97 year old resident of the village. We worked on these footpaths for several months, building stiles and clearing the way, and when we were on the last stile, Admiral Sir William was walking down. We apologised as the last stile wasn’t ready for use. To our surprise, he just hopped over the barbed wire fence!
After the stile was finished, we left the job thinking that would be the end. We were wrong! A few weeks later, we received a phone call from BBC Radio Wiltshire saying that they had received a letter from Admiral Sir William telling them about the work we had done, and inviting us to do an interview LIVE on the radio! The interview went really well, and we would like to thank Admiral Sir William O’Brien for his kind words about the work we do.
This summer, the Leisure Credits team have been very busy doing jobs all across the South West of Wiltshire. Our work ranged from footpath clearing at Burton and Tisbury at to scrub clearance on the Shiny Seven military badge in Sutton Mandeville. The most popular jobs were woodwork at the youth centre and working at Wilton Community Garden. Thank you to everyone who helped us out, we hope you all enjoyed yourselves!