A DIVERSE programme of free social and educational sessions in Winthorpe has strengthened community ties, cut antisocial behaviour and resurrected an under-used church building, in just a matter of weeks.
Winthorpe Youth and Residents Association (WYRA) has collaborated with New Linx Housing Trust to deliver ‘The Big Busy Diary Project’ - a collection of free courses, groups and activities to appeal to every section of the community.
WYRA chairman Leanne Irving said: “There’s something for everyone and it’s been a huge success - bigger than we thought possible.”
The project began as a means to save Seathorne Chapel Community Hall by bringing it back into regular use as a venue for youth groups, coffee mornings and practical learning sessions.
WYRA asked each of the various demographics within the Winthorpe community, from youngsters through to the elderly, what they felt was most needed, and then tried to meet those requirements.
A youth club has proved to be one of the most popular regular events, with more than 60 youngsters meeting every Wednesday evening in a safe and supervised environment.
Its success with the area’s children and teenagers is also evident in the marked reduction in instances in antisocial behaviour reported to the police since it began.
Every week until the end of June a dozen or so free courses will be held on subjects ranging from alternative therapy and bingo, through to dance workshops and cooking classes.
With youth unemployment a major concern both locally and nationally, First College is offering courses on CV building and interview skills to help people find work.
WYRA and New Linx hope to see more Winthorpe residents getting involved in the Big Busy Diary Project and for other agencies to continue delivering regular courses once this 12 week initial push finishes.
To find out more about the courses available visit Seathorne Chapel Community Hall.
Alternatively call Leanne on 07828 900451.