An army of young volunteers who spent the summer holidays making a difference to their local communities will be praised at a special event next week.
The Swindon Borough Council-run Young Wardens scheme saw 52 children from Toothill, Freshbrook, Pinehurst and Penhill take part in garden projects, litter picks and a session of willow weaving courtesy of the charity TWIGS.
Pictured right, the Mayor councillor Ray Ballman with youngsters from Toothill at the launch in July
The young people, aged between seven and 11, were members of the Pinehurst Penguins, the Penhill Pandas and the Toothill Tigers.
The Pinehurst Penguins made dream catchers with the TWIGS volunteers and did some gardening in Hornbeam Court, Pinehurst West.
The Penhill Pandas painted a giant snake and did some planting at the Community Centre’s Chippenham Close garden after receiving plants from John Toomer & Sons, while the Toothill Tigers worked on their own garden outside Toothill Community Centre and, like the other two groups, decorated their own recycling boxes after receiving a special talk on recycling.
The Tigers were also given an internet safety talk entitled Stranger Danger. Rob Stygall, Neighbourhood Warden with the Toothill Tigers, said the Stranger Danger course was well received by the children.
He said: “Everyone felt it was really worthwhile and valuable for the children of this age group. They got a lot of useful information from it.”
The Young Wardens learnt all about fire safety with a visit to the town’s fire station and the NSPCC ran activities such as plate and mug decorating and held a nature walk. An interactive talk from the Road Safety team also formed part of the programme.
All the talks and activities had a strong focus on children looking after their environment, being safe in their neighbourhood, team building and having fun.
A number of local firms donated items towards the scheme. Tesco provided refreshments for the volunteers, Michael’s Workwear provided the Young Wardens with their very own red uniform and Crapper and Sons donated compost for the gardening projects.
The Young Wardens scheme was rolled out to Toothill and Freshbrook and Pinehurst following its success in Penhill 12 months ago.
A barbecue is taking place at Lydiard Park on Tuesday, 13 September where all the Young Wardens will be given certificates to thank them for all their hard work.
Swindon Mayor Cllr Ray Ballman will be on hand to present the certificates at the celebration which will take place between 5pm and 7pm.
Cllr Russell Holland, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for One Swindon, Communities and Housing, said: “The Young Wardens scheme is going from strength to strength and it is great to see so many young people wanting to do something positive in their summer holidays.
“I have been really impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of all those that took part. The celebration barbecue at Lydiard is a fitting way to end the programme and an opportunity for the council to say thank you to all the children for their hard work.”