Youth Organisations getting ready for the green light – to go
Now there is every chance we can look to the future with some confidence- the Community Partnership has given even more grants from its Physical and Wellbeing Youth Project to youth organisations for future activities – when the Government Road Map regulations allow.
As the Community Partnership is unable to deliver these activities ourselves we are passing the funds to those who have a better chance of helping the local youth. We want to support the hard work of volunteers and teachers during this exceptionally difficult time which has lasted for so long and at times seems never ending. But with hope just around the corner, funds in place, volunteers and teachers at the ready 2 schools (High School and Darras Hall Primary) and 3 youth organisations (Scouts, Rangers and Brownies) are planning their activities.
Last November the High School was granted money for new sports equipment called Kinball and in January the local Scout group were donated funds for new tents. Then in February and March the latest beneficiaries were 4th Ponteland Brownies, Castleward Rangers, and Darras Hall Primary School all to benefit funds for their proposed ideas and imaginative activities created to inspire our youth to stay positive and connected.
Some of the previous funds allowed young people to connect via Zoom as part of their activities with Scouts and Rangers now following the “Government Road Map” the earliest they can restart outdoor sessions from the 29th March, Leaders and Scouts can’t wait for some day hikes which are already being planned by the Scouts for the Easter vacation. Without funding, volunteers and teachers, who are creating new ways to explore and learn, would not be able to fulfil this need.
PCP Quote: “The Community Partnership is delighted to have supported 2 schools and 3 youth organisations as part of the Physical and Mental Wellbeing Youth Project which started last September. This has turned into a fantastic project to benefit potentially over 1,700 local young people, with the funds helping volunteers and teachers to plan and implement new activities either via Zoom or as soon as the regulations allow in a more normal way. These activities for age’s 7 – 18 range from sport and recreation, art and crafts, also covering science, technology, engineering and maths all presented in a fun way. Now that schools have returned they will be able to initiate their activities with the youth organisations following some time after.”
4th Ponteland Brownies Quote “We are so excited to have been awarded this funding which will contribute towards their lockdown activities helping to remain connected as a unit. Activity packs have been sent out to each Brownie each month during the period of extended lockdown using Zoom meetings with the contents of the packs to engage in games and craft to entertain and explore; all to help them achieve more out of the Brownie badges programme. These sessions range from planting seeds and growing flowers and seeing them grow through spring & summer, First Aid with Teddies, introduction to map reading, secret messages and sign language – all important to help the pack feel connected. Once restrictions ease gentle rambles through the Ponteland bridleways could take place looking at the natural environment and local history Part of this money will contribute towards a safe bicycle course and a cycling proficiency badge when restrictions allow.”
2 Brownie Quotes: Ambika “I love Brownies as I get to see my friends on zoom” Brooke “Brownies is fun because we try new things and make new friends”
Ranger Guides Castleward Quote: ”This donation will make a huge difference to activities we can offer the girls at this most unusual of times. We are part of the 10 counties in the North East Girl Guiding movement all celebrating the 50 years of Guiding this year by completing the 50th Anniversary Challenge Badge. This is a great way for the girls to get to know their own county and the Northeast region through themed activities; for the Rangers this includes identifying famous people, landmarks, delicacies, craft and action activities. The challenge is geared for every level from Rainbows to Trefoil. This grant will enable the Guides out for a related activity challenge and more scope for online team building activities which work towards completing 2 unofficial challenge badges made from craft materials. Ideas like making beach bags or a “Hairy Mary caterpillar” which needs grass seeds and compost”
Darras Hall Primary School Quote: ”We are working towards organising broader based non-sport after school clubs that a more creative, when restrictions allow. Lockdown has highlighted the importance of school in maintaining a stable, safe and enjoyable place to be. We wanted the clubs to provide something special that we don’t always do in the curriculum. At this time there is a need to boost self esteem and confidence by providing for over 55 children things like an art club using a selection of different materials than the school is able to provide and a STEM (science technology engineering & maths) club equipment where children can experience experiments like exploding cola, foam rain clouds and marshmallow building – all exciting, fun and unusual. Our clubs are both scheduled to run next half term, straight after Easter.”
Scouts new tents for future camping
Thanks to the Community Partnership, Ponteland Scouts have been given enough money to purchase 3 new tents to start replacing their old existing stock.
This has been another youth organisation to benefit from the Physical & Mental Wellbeing Youth Project, set up by the Community Partnership; which continues into spring with more successful bids to come.
Quote from Community Partnership:
“This project started in last November when the partnership was looking for an appropriate project which could be delivered during these difficult months. Thanks to a number of schools and organisations responding we are able to support their needs for activities now and in the future. As we are all unable to organise outdoor environmental events we created a project that could allow those with fewer restrictions and the ability to deliver some interaction with young people now or in the future.
The High School was successful last November with the purchase of a Kinball a new sport option and when we heard the scouts had been using some tents that were 25 years old on their activities we knew that we could help; it fitted the criteria of our youth project. Although these activities at the moment are not allowed to take place, sometime in the future with relaxed restrictions these tents will be needed to complete Duke of Edinburgh Awards and international camp activities. – the partnership is delighted to support such a good cause they are charity and run on an entirely voluntary basis.”
A key part of the scouting experience is outside activities including overnight camps providing opportunities to work in teams while gaining confidence and independence. Scouts are do-ers & give-it-a-go-ers giving assistance with various community activities, e.g. Party in Park, Rotary Duck Race; Town Council and Community Partnership events on the Bridleway.
The 1 or 2 man tents chosen are the best option for use in Scouts DofE Awards, which once the Covid restrictions are lifted, can also be used by scouts, explorers, boys and girls, approx 80 members between the ages of 10-18 with the additional possibility of guides joining the scouts for their DofE expeditions. These small tents are suitable for use by single occupants, and under these on-going unknowns, single occupancy allows flexibility for camping activities.
Quote from Barry Hirst Group Scout Leader for 1st Ponteland Scout Group:
“One of the aims of the group is to be a valuable part of our community. The Group is always keen to support community projects in Ponteland, including those promoted by Ponteland Community Partnership, such as the Bridleway Project. I am delighted that PCP has been able to support us as we plan for safe camping as soon as we can. Outside activities are very important for our youth members and these new tents will go a long way to allow for that, hopefully in the near future.”
Scouting activities follow government guidelines set up under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the National Youth Agency the Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in England. Both organisations have in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, developed youth sector specific advice and guidance.
This can be illustrated by their traffic like system a “4 Tier Readiness Level Framework” – Red, Amber, Yellow and Green, used by youth organisations. Currently we are at Readiness Level Red, which means no face-to-face activities are allowed.
4 Tier Readiness Levels
No face to face activity or meetings
No residential activities
Small group sessions can take
No residential activities
Small group sessions can take Place indoors & outdoors
No residential activities
All activities can resume in line with Government guidance
Mark Wood Scout Leader said “This generous support from Ponteland Community Partnership will allow us to provide camping experiences again as soon as we are allowed. Additional small tents will allow single occupancy as we do not yet know what restrictions will be in place due to the COVID situation.”
Andrew Pile Scout Groups Quartermaster – responsible for the appropriate equipment for scouting activities. Andrew said, “We have always provided tents to support scouting activities, including for camps and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Our existing tents are for multiple occupancies. The new tents provided by the generosity of Ponteland Community Partnership are for single occupancy and will thus allow camping with ‘social distancing’ when we are allowed to restart again.”