Over the last few months, we have been involved in a project funded by Clarion Futures that revolves around the community and engaging young people in making a difference in where they live through Social Action!
Social Action is when people come together to tackle an issue, support others or improve their local area. We have two projects running side by side our CAP & MINI CAP (Community Ambassador’s Programme) The Mini CAP works with 5-11-year-olds and the CAP works with those aged 11 plus. Back in October, we had our first MINI CAP session where the young people came together to litter pick our site at Shelley Ave to make it a better place for the community and safer for nature in the local area.
While litter -picking the young people also put down some plans for a longer-term project that they’d like to carry out in the area. One of the ideas they were most passionate about was creating a community garden. Prior to Christmas, we were able to hold a planning session where our MINI CAP group came up with further ideas for the garden. Then unfortunately we were hit with another lockdown. With funding help from Back Yard Nature and resources from In Common, which are both organisations that partnered with the project, we were able to create activity packs. These packs were used to engage with the young people over the lockdown.
From nature-based activities such as painting their own bird boxes to creating a calendar to share with elderly residents in the community, the young people were able to stay engaged over the weeks/months of the winter lockdown.
During this time planning was also underway to develop our CAP group (11+). This was a group from our Wednesday Youth sessions who we brought together to discuss the project, which they were excited to get involved with! As restrictions eased, the CAP group was able to start planning and over the coming weeks will begin some of their social action tasks. Our Mini CAP group enjoyed their first session back recently and took part in a few different activities. This included creating birdfeeders and planting some flowers that will eventually be put into the community garden!
The hope is over the coming weeks and months that our two groups will be making a big difference in their community!