What this is:
A social action project where young people become engaged in their community through volunteering, whilst also earning rewards for their hard work. We work alongside many different groups including Wiltshire Rights of Way, the Cranbourne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and local parish councils to access conservation and preservation work in the South West Wiltshire area. Activities include improving accessibility such clearing footpaths and building bridges, tidying communal areas, church yards, play grounds etc. and any practical work that might be required to benefit the community.
Young people earn ‘credits’ based on their conduct during the day, which includes how hard they work, their involvement in teamwork and how they help others. Credits can be redeemed by young people in different ways. Some may choose to spend their credits on confidence building and social reward activities throughout the year, such as visits to the cinema, waterparks, go-karting, theme parks and team building adventure activity residential opportunities. Others may save their credits to help with the cost of other things, such as driving lessons or a CBT (motorbike test).
Why we run it:
To provide young people with the opportunity to develop practical skills, increase their co-operation and team work to develop a positive work ethic and to make a difference to the local community or environment. This project brings different sectors of the community together and through young people regularly being seen helping at local events or improving the surroundings and countryside, some of the negative stereotypes that exist about young people are challenged and dispelled. Young People gain a real sense of pride and achievement in the tasks they carry out and this increases their confidence and self-worth.
We understand that most of the young people we work with do not have lots of money and there is limited access to part time employment therefore, we want to empower them to ‘earn’ the kind of opportunities and experiences other young people may readily have access to. This also reduces pressure on parents/carers who not only benefit from knowing young people are out making a positive difference, they also are not under financial pressure to pay for trips and activities for them during their leisure time.
Who it’s for:
Young people aged 12 – 18 years.
When and where it runs:
Sessions run on alternate Saturdays throughout the year and on Tuesdays and Thursdays during school holidays from 10am – 4pm based from Mere Youth Centre. Please see the most recent letter and consent form in the download section. We provide transport from across South West Wiltshire to get to Mere to collect tools and boots and then young people are transported to the work venues. Seats on the minibus are limited so transport and attendance at sessions needs to be booked in advance so we can ensure we have enough spaces, footwear, safety equipment and lunch!
What do young people say:
"I have learnt how to work with friends and gained a lot of life skills." - A, aged 13
"Leisure Credits has taught me to push myself and try new things." - M, aged 12
Please click here for the current Leisure Credits Programme Consent form